James ‘Jim’ Gumbert died on November 10‚ 2010‚ while responding to the station for a reported fire. He had only lived in North Irwin for two years‚ but was already active in making a difference in the community. He served as treasurer of the community’s junior firefighting organization and a mentor to other firefighters. He was a quiet presence at the fire station‚ but always ready to help when needed.
Born December 11‚ 1946‚ in Pittsburgh to the late Wilber S. and Thelma Gumbert‚ Jim graduated from Springdale High School in 1964. Before his retirement‚ he worked as a driver for Butler Motor Coach.
A Vietnam veteran‚ Jim served in the US Navy aboard the USS Battleship Dyess and received the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in action.
He was a member of American Legion Post 359 of Irwin‚ VFW Post 781 of Irwin‚ and was involved in the American Cancer Society’s local Relay for Life event. He was a member of the Norwin Christian Church of North Huntingdon.
He is survived by two daughters‚ Kelly Heckert and Jamie Ferland; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Tom Harrison‚ chief of the North Irwin Volunteer Fire Department‚ said: ‘We’ll remember Jim for everything he did for our community. We could count on him whenever we needed him. He made our fire company and North Irwin a better place to live.’