On January 11th, 2012, my firefighting and blood brother, Peter succumbed to cancer. He was 46 y/o. I gathered some pictures of the past 30 years that my brother Pete and I have shared in our 30 years. We worked with some area departments on many calls and I tried to include as many as I could to remember you as well. The picture of him in a white tee shirt and bunker pants was the last structural fire we worked together. He worked for our mutual aid company, Brentwood, Station 116. This is my tribute to him. I dare not say good bye because he shall remain in my heart and in my mind forever. Finally, he got me to listen to county music. :)

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Comment by Andy Marsh on January 23, 2012 at 8:12pm

For Pete

"This is the day the Lord has made ! Let us rejoice and be glad in it ! "
And Jesus said unto Simon, "From this day forward, you will be called Peter, the Rock. And from this rock, my church shall be built."
I hope you will understand the tie in of these bible passages to my brother as I continue with this.
 You may have read Psalm 118, the first one I read, or perhaps read in other psalms the words that talk about the Lord's wondrous deeds and how mysterious His work is.  Perhaps you read in the Book of Genesis how God created and built the universe in a mere seven days. And the more you read His Word, the more you find out that God is truly the master craftsman. God's ability to solve problems through His Word, through miracles and through prayer are unparallel. In his own way, Pete was a master craftsman.

If you ever went to my brother with a problem, like I often did, one of the first things he would ask you is " Did you look at the simple stuff first?" From about the age of seven, Pete has been tinkering with things. Petey has a talent for fixing and building things and it all started with lego blocks and an erector set. On one occasion, via many telephone calls, he helped me put up a drywall ceiling at my mom's house. Another friend and I had been doing the work and I was worried that my seam work and taping was wrong. He told me not to worry about it too much and that if I would use a brush to put on the joint compound and swirl it on, those mistakes would probably not be seen. And so I commenced to swirling. When he stopped by to check on my work, he commented that for my first time, I didn't do a bad job. He then noticed my swirling and noticed how small the swirls were.

He asked what kind of brush I used and I told him, the only one I had, a nail brush. He then commented in not exactly the same words, " Holy Goodness Anj ! No wonder it took you six days !" "You and Michelangelo would go great together." "Yinz wouldn't get much done, but you'd be great together."  Pete built relationships too as witnessed here today. It's one of several qualities that he, my brother Kerry and I share. There maybe quite a few of you out there wondering, "How do I get through this problem?" "How do I get through this lifetime without Pete? " I'm here to tell you that I don't have the answer except to say, let's start with the simple stuff first. Pete did that with his cancer. He hit it head on and the simple stuff was chemo and radiation and believing in his doctors and the many treatments and hospital stays.


The cancer became more complicated and he simply said "Let's change the plan and simply put this to God and accept that the cancer is deadly and inoperable." I gave it my best shot and fought it."  "It's inoperable, nothing more to do." " This is too much for everyone involved and the simplest thing to do is stop the fight now."  We have an opportunity ahead of us to keep his life alive in all of us, albeit in another dimension. Each one of us gathered here today, share something in common with Petey. Maybe it's NASCAR racing; campfires and beer drinking; managing a department and a diverse group of people. Maybe it's firefighting, parenting, or marriage. Maybe it's that you tinkered with something or built something with him. Whatever it is, latch on to it, make it grow and live and he will remain with you always ! Continue with that building ! I guarantee you that he is doing that for us right now ! 

John the Baptist proclaimed, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord !" "Make straight his path!" And just as God makes little green apples, I guarantee that Pete being the master craftsman that he is, has grabbed his tool belt, the carpenter's level and chalk line and has gone to work for us

Comment by Andy Marsh on January 23, 2012 at 7:31pm

Gone But Not Forgotten

Brother when you weep for me Remember that it was meant to be
Lay me down and when you leave Remember I'll be at your sleeve

In every dark and choking hall I'll be there as you slowly crawl

On every roof in driving snow I'll hold your coat and you will know

In cellars hot with searing heat At windows where a gate you meet

In closets where young children hide You know I'll be there at your side

The house from which I now respond Is overstaffed with heroes gone

Men who answered one last bell Did the job and did it well

As firemen we understand That death's a card dealt in our hand

A card we hope we never play But one we hold there anyway

That card is something we ignore As we crawl across a weakened floor

For we know that we're the only prayer For anyone that might be there

So remember as you wipe your tears The joy I knew throughout the years

As I did the job I loved to do I pray that thought will see you through.

-Author Unknown

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