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Oldest living Brazil City Firefighter celebrates 90th birthday

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Three firefighters from the Brazil City Fire Department made a surprise visit to Francis South at Cloverleaf Healthcare Facility Thursday. South, the oldest surviving retired firefighter from BCFD was celebrating his 90th birthday. South, with Nelly, his wife of 67 years beside him, is pictured shaking hands with city firefighters Jake Bennett, Troy McQueen and Chris Moon. [Click to enlarge]
Francis South almost didn't show up for his own surprise 90th birthday party Thursday afternoon.

"There was talk about a party down here, but no one asked me to come so I wasn't going to," South said as Brazil City firefighters Jake Bennett, Troy McQueen and Chris Moon entered the room with two birthday cakes. "I'm glad I came. This is one of the biggest surprises I've had in a while."

Appointed in 1942 and serving five townships until 1963, South is the oldest surviving retired firefighter from the Brazil City Fire Department. He served as the firefighters' first union secretary and is honored for his years of service on a plaque at City Hall.

"I shined that brass fire pole many times during my 21 years," South said. "I liked being a firefighter. We were the first ones on a scene and we worked like the dickens to get the job done."

An Air Force veteran from World War II, South feels firefighters have not received enough credit over the years.

"After 9/11, people began to notice firefighters, but it's just not enough," South told The Brazil Times, as his eyes began to fill with tears. "They're the bravest people in the world."

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He's a wonderful man, with a loving wife. God bless them both.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Fri, Apr 11, 2008, at 6:53 AM

I've known "Frosty" South for many years. He was on the department with my grandfather, Kenneth Bass, Sr. He is a very sweet person as is his wife, Nelly. May he have many more years.

-- Posted by corgimom64@yahoo.com on Fri, Apr 11, 2008, at 11:43 AM

Wonderful story!!

-- Posted by scwh1974 on Sat, Apr 12, 2008, at 7:12 AM

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