Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

A Tribute to Jim White


Photo provided.

One of Jim White's proudest accomplishments was building Engine 727, the Seeley Lake Fire Department's 2,500-gallon water tender, from a military surplus vehicle.

SEELEY LAKE - Our little volunteer fire department is greatly saddened by the passing of one of our own, Jim White.

Jim joined the department in April 1994 and was its Volunteer Fire Chief from 1996 to 1999. "Hundreds of firefighters have passed through the department since 1959 and very few, if any, have had the impact that Jim White has had on the department," stated retired Fire Chief, Frank Maradeo.

One of Jim's finest accomplishments was building Engine 727, the department's 2500-gallon water tender from scratch. The tank was military surplus from the first Gulf War. Jim took the chassis, pump and tank and completed all the plumbing himself, in fact, every piece of equipment in our station has been touched by Jim in one way or the other.

Jim was a man of many virtues, he spent countless hours mentoring the volunteer members, training them to be the best they could be. Jim did it because he loved being a firefighter and he loved the firefighters he worked with.

"I'm sorry to hear of Jim's passing. When I started on the Fire Department in February 2004, Jim assigned me to the maintenance position.  Jim took the time to teach me a lot about the engines and how to use the different equipment.   We went on many fire and medical calls together.  Jim was a very knowledgeable firefighter and very capable and professional in every situation. His passing is a great loss to the Seeley Lake community.  He will be missed. May he rest in peace," stated Firefighter, Andy Wilson.

Lynn Richards, District Administrator, stated "Jim and his beloved dog Smokey would often stop by the office for a visit which truly made my day; I will dearly miss those. Jim was a great example to follow, his loss will be felt by all of us for years to come."

Photo Provided.

Jim White

Chief Bob stated, "From the day I walked through the door, Jim made himself available to me. Last summer at the height of the fire season in Seeley Lake, our Type 6 fire engine began to experience serious pump, tank and plumbing issues. A number of Seeley area mechanics and pipefitters pitched in, however, I had a particular pipe configuration problem that was causing me fits; suddenly there was Jim with his unparalleled confidence saying, 'Well, let's get the damn thing fixed.' After eight hours of sweating and turning pipe and wrenches, that engine was ready to get back out on the fire line in support of the town. Looking back now, I see what a special blessing that day was; spent with a very special man."

Jim was a Firefighter, Training Officer, Assistant Chief, Fire Chief, Battalion Chief and a long-standing board member.

Jim, you are gone but will never be forgotten, thank you for your service.


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