I would like to say a prayer for my Dad, Ray Neville, who died 57 years ago on January 3, 1961 at the age of 35.
He died young, however, as my Mother always told us he loved his family and he loved being a Yonkers Firefighter and had no regrets over his short life.
He reported to work for his shift on March 20, 1960, at Fire Headquarters and found he was having a great deal of pain in his right side. He was sent to the Fire Department Surgeon who diagnosed appendicitis and scheduled emergency surgery. During the surgery it was realized that he was suffering pain due to terminal cancer, not appendicitis. My Father died a little more than 9 months later.
Over many years his contemporary firefighters told us he knew his job very well and a few months before he died he received a letter that he had passed the Lieutenants Exam. Reading that letter was a joyful event but was also sad at the same time.
As young boys growing up in Yonkers we read Superman, Batman and Spider-Man comics and loved all the Super Heroes! But when my young school friends and I had a chance to visit a Yonkers Fire House (usually Fire Headquarters) we were thrilled that we were in the middle of real life super heroes and I was very proud that my Dad was one of them.
God Bless all the past and present Yonkers Firefighters as they are real superheroes!