|Birth: ||Mar. 24, 1889|
|Death: ||May 2, 1927|
Obituary of Phillip Sydney Smith
Fire Chief Melrose Park Village Fire Department
Phil Smith, Fire Chief, Is Dead. Phillip Sydney Smith, for many years an active member of the Melrose Park Village Fire Department and chief of the department for the past three years, died at the Oak Park Hospital at 10:05 o'clock Monday night. He was buried on Thursday afternoon of this week with full honors by the men of the department assisted by representative groups of firemen from all surrounding villages. The funeral was at 2 o'clock from the home to the Church of the Holy Communion, Fifth Avenue and Second Street, Maywood. News of Phil's death struck Melrose Park like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. While he had been ailing for more than a year following an attack of yellow jauntice and for the past eleven weeks had been unable to work, his iron will had kept him up and about the village and he was seen frequently on the streets. On Monday night of last week he was at the village board meeting, shaking hands with friends and apparently feeling fine. On Tuesday of last week he was taken to the Oak Park Hospital where it was to be determined whether or not an operation would be advisable. Physicians believed he was suffering with gallstones. On Monday he was taken with a terrible attack from which he never recovered. The fact that Mr. Smith had always been an active man, interested in and taking part in sports and games of all kinds, makes it seem almost impossible that the Grim Reaper has reached down with his scythe and laid low a young man in the prime of his life. Phil at one time, not so many years ago, was considered the best football player in these parts. He was also a great baseball catcher and each year was one of the mainstays on both baseball and football teams of the village. With all this athletic prowess he was a cool, mild-mannered man, always a gentleman, and he numbered his friends by his acquaintances. To know Phil Smith was to like him. He has served a total of nine years as an official member of the fire department. This does not begin to count his real service in the work of fighting fire, however. From the time he was a boy he took an active interest in fire fighting. He made it his hobby to be at every fire regardless of how inconsequential. He studied modern fire fighting methods and the department under his able direction is ample evidence of the fact that he knew the work well and was a natural born leader. Always cool in the face of danger, yet with unwavering courage, he held the respect of the members of the department and they were eager to follow his directions. The banked flowers, all arranged in costly floral designs, showed in a great measure the respect and esteem in which the deceased was held by old and young, rich and poor alike in the western suburbs. He was first appointed to the fire department by C.J. Wolf about 12 years ago. He served three years as a regular fireman, then being promoted to captain. He held that office until the beginning of the Bohlander administration six years ago when he resigned for three years, being given the position of chief by President Bohlander three weeks ago. He has served the village faithfully. Never was a night too cold or danger too great to daunt Phil Smith. Many people can thank him for the saving of their homes when they have been threatened by fire. The deceased was born in Melrose Park, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Charles Smith, March 24, 1889. He attended the Melrose Park public school and grew to manhood in the village. For years he has held a responsible position with the General Outdoor Advertising Company, being engaged in the work of putting up large billboards. He was married 19 years ago to Miss Anna Hahn and to this union were born three children, Sylvia 18, Phillis 15 and Walter 11. These and the widow survive. There are also two sisters, Mrs. Foster Sedgwick, 607 North Ninth Avenue, Maywood, and Mrs. Pascal Caffero, 901 North Fifteenth Avenue, and one brother, Harold Smith, 807 North Sixteenth Avenue. The pallbearers were F. Zuelke, Harry Ellerbrook, T. Prignano, H. Wilder, J. Mudrow and B. Kurtz, all members of the Melrose Park Fire Department. The big fire truck, draped in mourning and driven by Clements Rassmussen, preceded the funeral procession to Forest Home Cemetery. "Tibby", dog mascot of the department, was in the funeral cortege.
Source: Melrose Park Leader, 6 May 1927, 12(18)
Phyllis Audrey Smith Dumas (1912 - 1981)*
Forest Home Cemetery
Created by: Donald Reindl
Record added: Oct 31, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99924014
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