Category Archives: In Memoriam

In Memoriam – James H. “Bud” Shirk

James H. “Bud” Shirk August 26, 1928 – April 12, 2017 Age 88

Bud was a member of the Fire Company for 42 years, beginning in 1975. His notable service was as the first official Fire Company chaplain, starting in 1977. He served in that position for over 30 years until 2010 and made an incredible impression on multiple generations of volunteers. Bud also shared his skills as an electrician with the Fire Company by giving advice and doing repairs as needed.
As an electrician with Lapp Electric for many years, his service went well beyond the community of Bird-in-Hand. He worked with disaster relief and with Habitat for Humanity in places such as the Deep South after Hurricane Katrina, West Virginia, Texas, Alaska, the Caribbean and Central America.
Bud was a long and faithful member of First Baptist Church in Lancaster. There he served as a deacon, trustee, Sunday school teacher, property committee member, and usher. Active with the American Baptist Men of PA and DE, he was named Layman of the Year in 2007.
Bud and his wife Grace lived at Lancashire Terrace Retirement Village in Neffsville. His first wife of 48 years, Katherine, passed away in 2002. They had five children, 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

In Memoriam – Richard L. “Rick” Nields

Richard L. “Rick” Nields May 14, 1962 – June 21, 2017 Age 55

Rick was a member of the Fire Company for 39 years, beginning in 1978 when he was 16 years old. He served as chief engineer, on the Squad Committee, and was trained and qualified to drive the engine, tanker and squad. He drove Engine 41-1 to one final call on Saturday evening June 17, four days before his heart attack.
One of Rick’s passions was driving the tanker in the Mother’s Day convoy for Make-A-Wish. He was one of the top fundraisers for this organization. He enjoyed seeing smiles on the children’s faces as he handed out firemen’s hats and coloring books, plus he always had a large stuffed animal for the child who rode with him.
Each Saturday evening there is a distribution at the Fire Hall of baked goods leftover from a market stand. After local families had chosen what they could use, Rick put the remaining food in his pickup truck and delivered it to Water Street Mission in Lancaster. Rick had a heart of compassion.
Rick began his career as an auto mechanic at Dave Haldeman’s Garage in Bird-in-Hand as a teenager. After Dave’s retirement, he worked for Jack Robinson’s Garage also in Bird-in-Hand. For the past three years he owned Rick Nields Garage, LLC in Smoketown. When he fixed minor problems on his friends’ vehicles or Fire Company vehicles, he would say, “Merry Christmas.” Rick had a generous heart.
Rick leaves his wife Betty, son Randy and daughter Jennifer. Four hundred people gathered at the Fire Hall on Sunday afternoon, June 25, to pay their respects to Rick.

In Memoriam – David G. “Dave” Haldeman

David G. “Dave” Haldeman September 3, 1919 – March 22, 2017 Age 97

Dave was a member of the Fire Company for 69 years, beginning in 1948. He served as Hand-in-Hand’s 6th chief for 20 years from 1952-1971. Other positions he held were president from 1978-1981, vice president, board director, Zone-4 delegate, Lancaster County Firemen’s Association delegate, Pennsylvania State delegate, and Community Safety and Fire Prevention Committee.
Dave attended almost every fire meeting and he and his wife Mary could be counted on to help with Fire Company activities and any need in the community. He owned and operated Dave Haldeman’s Garage in Bird-in-Hand for 33 years where he did car maintenance, small engine repair, fixed lawn mowers, pumped gas, and provided a place for the community to gather.
His community involvements touched many. A member of the Paradise Rotary Club, he had 58 years of perfect attendance. He was a charter member of the East Lampeter Park and volunteered with the Boy Scouts until he was 94. As a member of Conestoga Church of the Brethren, he served as choir member, Sunday school teacher, deacon, and administrative board member.
Dave and Mary retired to Brethren Village in Lititz. They have three children, Edward, Sara, and Sandra, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.