Walter T. "W.T." Brumfield Sr., 89, the patriarch in a family of Central Kentucky firefighters, died Saturday at the Hospice Care Center at St. Joseph Hospital.
Mr. Brumfield began serving as a volunteer firefighter in Nicholasville in 1948. He was appointed chief of the department in 1955 and remained in that position for 33 years.
Two of Mr. Brumfield's sons and two grandsons followed in his footsteps.
His son Charles W. Brumfield served as chief of the Nicholasville Fire Department after his father's retirement; son Mark Brumfield became a battalion chief.
One grandson, Charles E. "Bubba" Brumfield, is the current fire chief in Nicholasville; another, Timothy Brumfield, is deputy fire chief in Danville.
Retired Chief Charles W. Brumfield said he often tagged along with his dad on fire runs as a child, and that inspired his love of the profession.
"The first job I had was answering the radio in the truck while they'd fight the fire," he said.
While other men might have enjoyed sports or fishing, Walter Brumfield Sr. made fighting fires his hobby, Charles W. Brumfield said.
Mr. Brumfield was a patient father and was "very proud of the fire service and the boys and grandsons growing up in it," he said.
Mr. Brumfield was the widower of Loretta Corman Brumfield and was a World War II Army veteran who received the Purple Heart and a Presidential Unit Citation for wounds sustained in France.
In addition to Charles and Mark Brumfield, he is survived by another son, Walter T. Brumfield Jr.; and several other grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Hager & Cundiff Funeral Home, Nicholasville, and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Edgewood Baptist Church, Nicholasville. Services will follow at the church.