Firefighters pay homage to former Claysburg chief

Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Firefighters drape an American flag over the casket of former Claysburg Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dale Feather prior to a procession to St. Mark’s Cemetery in King, where he was laid to rest.

CLAYSBURG — The Claysburg Volunteer Fire Department Hall was full of mourners Friday remembering the life of firefighter Dale Feathers.

“One of the greatest firefighters we ever had,” said Bill Lightner, captain of fire police. “He knew every piece of equipment inside and out. He was an expert. He started as a teenager and grew up with us.”

Feathers 56, of Claysburg, passed away suddenly on Jan. 19 at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown, after contracting the flu.

About 100 people packed the flower-decorated fire hall for an open-casket service, including firefighters from neighboring departments who may not have known him but responded to calls with him.

Fire Company Chief Scott Eicher said Feathers was a member since he was 14 years old.

“He was a great man, one everyone should know,” he said. “He was community-oriented. He loved his family. His life was here. He will surely be missed.”

The Rev. Paul Johnson officiated the funeral service at the fire hall. He boldly preached a promise of eternal life in heaven through Jesus.

“I don’t know what you will remember about this service,” Johnson said, “but I want you to know he’s standing right at the door of your heart knocking so you open the door and let him in.”

He said Feathers was a person who “radiated the love of the Lord through his life.”

After the service, a procession assembled for interment at St. Mark’s Cemetery in King.

Surviving are his wife; three daughters: Jennifer (Franklin) Knee, Shannon Brown and Jamie (Eric) Stombaugh; three grandsons: Vincent Sanders Jr., David Dadzie and Conner Stombaugh; three brothers: Robert E. (Eileen), Donald M. (Joy) and Dennis; a niece, Christina; and a nephew, Matthew.

Feathers was a 1979 graduate of Claysburg-Kimmel High School.

For the past 22 years, he was employed as a truck driver for Smith Transport, and for 42 years, he was a member of Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company, where he served as fire chief, assistant fire chief, trustee, president and president of the Relief Association.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.