Richard D. Weisse, Sr. died in the Line-of-Duty on November 15, 2014 from a cerebral vascular crisis after responding earlier that day to a fire alarm at the high school.
Rich was born October 1, 1955, in St. James, New York. A son, husband, father and grandfather, he still found the time to incorporate a devoted life to the St. James Fire Department where he was an active member for 42 years.
Growing up, Rich was always around the firehouse. Seeing the SJFD through his grandfather’s and father’s eyes, he developed a deep love and pride for the SJFD. He joined in 1972 continuing a third generation of service. He continued their legacy, giving a strong example to his own children who followed in their beloved Dad’s footsteps.
Richie,Badge # 47 was Captain of Rescue, member of the Ambulance Company, Lieutenant of Engine One, director of the Junior Firefighters, Fire Prevention Committee member and a member of the Wildcats Drill Team.
Rich was a proud custodian for the Kings Park School District for over 25 years. He was known for his always ready-to-help attitude with students, teachers and administrators. without being asked, he was always lending a hand.
An active member of the fire department and the community, Richie organized food drives through the Junior Fire Department twice a year overpacking the pantry every time. Pantry volunteers were always impressed with Richie’s helpfulness and dedication. He also mentored the Juniors creating a family morale, showing them his passion for service to others, and the numerous responsibilities of becoming a firefighter. He shared the joy he had at Christmas as he played Santa for SJFD and St. James.
Richie’s children witnessed his love and dedication in many ways. A role model and hero to both his children, they have continued the family tradition of being a part of the SJFD as the 4th Weisse generation. Rich, Jr. served side-by-side with his Dad on Engine 1 while Tricia serves as an active EMT on the EMS Company. After Richie passed, Tricia joined Engine 1 to follow in his footsteps.
Richie was married to his dear wife, Theresa, for 33 years. He was always a helping hand, a caring and devoted Dad to Richard and Tricia, and the best father-in-law to Kerry. He was over the moon to become “Papa” to Avery, Ryder and Kennedy Richele. Being Papa gave him two extra bonuses – sharing his birthday with grandson, Ryder, and the honor of having Kennedy Richele named after him. He was also the brother-in-law to Louis and Kathy Boutin and Robert Boutin, uncle to Louis, Jr., Christopher and Patrick, devoted nephew to the late George Yeager, and a dear best friend for over 50 years to Fred and Lee Orth. He was a devoted and true Jets and Yankees fan.
Richie was a true people person who left his hand print on the community and in our hearts.
A memorial bench has been place next to the horseshoe pit at SJFD Station 2 to remember the contributions that Richie made to the St. James community and the St. James Fire Department.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! REST IN PEACE, BROTHER!