by justin strawser

SHAMOKIN - If the Bible calls everyone to be more like Jesus, firefighters are a shining example, said the Rev. David M. Byerly Sunday night during the Firefighters Annual Memorial Service at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10 S. Seventh St.

"We hear stories of Jesus searching out to rescue those in need and helping those who are repressed," he said. "You folks are in front of everyone in the community whenever there is trouble."

Byerly said he and the church were gathered Sunday night to give thanks to those that serve in the fire companies for keeping people safe, for those firefighters who died this year after many years of service and to God for blessing them.

In the secular world, Byerly said it is not always "in style" to help others in need, but he hopes the children of this generation know fire fighters and first responders model a life of service.

"You still model what it's like to be servants. Servants of God and servants of neighbors," he said.

The service included a solo performance of the song "In the Garden" by David Kopitsky and bagpipes and trumpet played by Seth Lowe, of the Shamokin Fire Bureau. When the 2012 list of deceased firefighters' names were read, Keith Elliot, 14, of the Liberty Fire Company, rang the bell.

The following is a list of those who passed away in Shamokin and Coal Township in the last year: William Rovito and Nicholas Spock, of Friendship Fire Company; Lewis P. Gaydon, Michael Glowa and Robert F. Schweitzer, of Liberty Hose Company; Raymond Hand, Franklin Lewis Heim, Wayne Maurer, Billy Ray Miller, Chester Mowery, Jack Peipher, Frederick Reed, Robert Schell Jr., Willard Bill Wagner and Claude Yeager, of Rescue Hose Company; Kenneth Zigner, of Independence Fire Company; John J. Dziadoscz, Harrold Haggerty, Leon J. Koczur, Rudolh Lesinak, John Schu, Robert Starke, Donald Tobias and Aloysius J. Wilinski, of West End Fire Company; Walter Neary and Richard "Dutch" Lahr, of Maine Station Fire Company; Eugene Comoss, Norman Hertzog, David Heslop, Francis Kutchen, John Maher, Robert Mattis, Joseph Miscavage, Joseph Pultynovich, Robert Shervinski, Herbert Sobotor, Joseph Yadlosky and Robert Zelinski, of East End Station Fire Company; Edward Domanski, John Horoshock, Patrick Komara Sr., Michael Kwasnowski Jr., Robert Mattis, Paul Readly, Richard Sahonick and Ralph Teats, of Brady Fire Company.