Remy Hathaway Pochelon died September 30‚ 2009‚ after working with fire suppression crews on the Table Mountain Fire. Born July 4‚ 1945‚ in Geneva‚ Switzerland‚ he spent his childhood in George’s Mills‚ New Hampshire and graduated from Mount Hermon High School in Northfield‚ Massachusetts. In 1965‚ Remy enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Reese Air Base in Lubbock‚ Texas. A veteran of the Vietnam War‚ he was honorably discharged in August 1972.
Following his military service‚ Remy headed west and began his 36-year career with the Forest Service. He started as a seasonal employee in 1973 while attending the University of Idaho. After graduating with a degree in forest resources‚ he started working as a firefighter for the St. Joe Interagency Hot Shot crew based out of Clarkia‚ Idaho.
In 1976‚ Remy accepted a permanent position with the U.S. Forest Service in Wallace‚ Idaho. His work later took him to Clarkia‚ Idaho‚ the Philipsburg Ranger District‚ and eventually to the Flathead Valley‚ where he worked for the Swan Ranger District as a resource assistant until retiring in 2004. Remy was especially proud of his role in the development‚ permitting‚ and eventual establishment of the Blacktail Ski Area on the Flathead National Forest near Lakeside.
Throughout his career‚ Remy was active in the fire program and continued to be a member of a Northern Rockies Type 2 incident management team after his retirement. He was one of the longest-serving safety officers for the USFS and had just completed an assignment on the Table Mountain fire southwest of Philipsburg. Indeed‚ Remy was around for so long that his coworkers eventually gave him a symbolic stuffed dinosaur that was a permanent fixture on the dashboard of his pickup. His knowledge and experience with forest policy and recreational issues continued to serve him well in retirement. Remy worked as a part-time consultant on forest planning issues throughout the west for Ecosystem Research Group in Missoula.
Remy thoroughly enjoyed himself in retirement. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved hunting‚ fishing and skiing‚ especially skiing with his granddaughters. He was a member of the National Ski Patrol at Silver Mountain‚ Idaho‚ and at Lost Trail and Discovery Basin in Montana. He was a member of the Society of American Foresters and the Philipsburg Volunteer Fire Department. One of Remy’s simplest pleasures was firing up the barbeque on a summer evening for a gathering of friends and family‚ enjoying their company‚ and treating them to the awesome views of the Flint Creek Valley from his deck.
He is survived by his wife‚ Mary McDonald; his daughter and son-in-law‚ Michele and Todd Seiger‚ and their children‚ Abby and Caitlyn; his sister‚ Gabby; his brother‚ Allen; and numerous nieces and nephews.