Stanley Ziemianski, a retired laborer at Libbey-Owens-Ford Co. who was a volunteer firefighter for nearly five decades with the Rossford Fire Department, died Friday in his home. He was 86.
His sister-in-law Dolores Ziemianski said the Wood County coroner said the cause of death was congestive heart failure.
A lifelong Rossford resident, Mr. Ziemianski joined the fire department in the 1940s when the department was a township operation, providing fire protection and medical services for residents and businesses in what was known as Ross Township.
It went as far east as Woodville and Lemoyne roads.
"He saw a lot of changes through the years. He was among the ones who created our fire department. They were pioneers," Jim Verbosky , the department's current chief, said.
Mr. Ziemianski rose through the ranks of the department, holding positions of lieutenant and captain before being appointed assistant chief.
He retired from the department in the mid 1990s, Chief Verbosky said.
He graduated in 1944 from Rossford High School then entered the U.S. Navy, serving as a signalman on the USS Kitty Hawk during World War II.
After the war, he returned to Rossford and worked at the former Rossford Ordnance Depot before being hired at the L-O-F plant in Rossford.
Mrs. Ziemianski said he worked in the batch house at the auto glass factory.
Mr. Ziemianski was among the founding members of Rossford's VFW Post 6409.
Bob Watrol, who got to know Mr. Ziemianski from his morning coffee sessions at Tim Hortons in Rossford, said he and another longtime VFW post member went to the hall daily on Osborne Street.
A member of the former St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Rossford, Mr. Ziemianski, who was a devout Catholic, attended Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Toledo's Vistula neighborhood.
Mrs. Ziemianski said her brother-in-law was attracted to the church because of the monthly Latin Mass and the traditions before the Second Vatican Council.
"He loved the Latin Mass," she said.
Surviving are his brother, Walter Ziemianski, and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation is to be Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Sujkowski Funeral Home, 830 Lime City Rd., Rossford, where VFW services are to be held at 7 p.m.
A funeral Mass is to be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday in St. Joseph Catholic Church, Locust and Erie streets in Toledo.
The family requests tributes to the Rossford VFW or to St. Joseph Catholic Church.