Osawatomie celebrates life of past fire chief

By Charity Keitel
Miami County Republic – June 28, 2017

Joyce Maxwell (left) received an American Flag in honor of her deceased husband James “Jim” Maxwell, who served Osawatomie in various capacities for much of his life. Joyce and her son James, Jr. (right) were among several community members celebrating Jim’s life June 9 at Memorial Hall. Photos by Osawatomie Fire Department.

Joyce Maxwell (left) received an American Flag in honor of her deceased husband James “Jim” Maxwell, who served Osawatomie in various capacities for much of his life. Joyce and her son James, Jr. (right) were among several community members celebrating Jim’s life June 9 at Memorial Hall.

Osawatomie fire and police personnel gathered June 9 at Memorial Hall to celebrate the life of resident James “Jim” Maxwell, who died earlier this year.

Maxwell died Feb. 8 at 78 years old. Osawatomie Fire Chief Brian Love said not only was Maxwell a hard worker but he was also a great friend and community member, who was always willing to lend a helping hand above and beyond the call of duty.

Best known in Osawatomie for his work at the Osawatomie State Hospital (OSH) in the maintenance department, his efforts to start up the city’s ambulatory service in the 1970s and his time on the Osawatomie Fire Department, Maxwell also spent time on his days off lending a hand to city crews for various maintenance works around Osawatomie.

Love said serving the community was Maxwell’s life work. He served for more than 46 years at OSH and worked at the fire department from 1971 to his retirement in 2003. Much of his time at the fire department was spent as Osawatomie’s Fire Chief.

“He was committed to the city of Osawatomie and to the people of the city,” Love said. “He would get up and go out and help with repairs on just about anything, even city repairs. He just wanted to help, to do his part. And he grew the fire department significantly during his 10 years as Chief. In fact, during his time as chief, the department began moving into rescue. That was a difficult transition, which he handled well.”

Love said Maxwell was well-liked and respected by the community members as well as the surrounding area fire departments, and during the celebration of life at Memorial Hall, all of the fire chiefs from the nearby area within Miami County were in attendance.

Maxwell’s family has decided to continue what he started through his life of commitment to the community and fire department by making several contributions to the department’s planned improvement project at the fire station.

Love said the city has plans to extend the fire department’s space into the electric/utility shop, which is in the same building as the fire department. This expansion is planned for next year after the electric shop is moved to its new location.

With the expansion will come increased space for fire department trucks as well as a training room, which Love says will be extremely beneficial to the firefighters and other fire department personnel.

Love said Maxwell’s family also donated their collection of scrapbooks, photos and several antiques to the fire department for display.

Maxwell is survived by his wife Joyce, his son James Jr. and his daughters Janine and Joy as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

1 Response to “Osawatomie celebrates life of past fire chief”


  1. 1 Tj June 30, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    He was not only a Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather!! James Maxwell was best role model a boy could ask for growing up he was want I needed! A hero to look up to.

    Like


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