Members of the West Chazy Fire Department spent Wednesday reflecting on their friend Wayne Deno, a founding member of the department and fellow fireman for 72 years.
“Just the type of person he was,” said Robert Mooso, president of the department. “He was nice and calm, always had something nice to say about you.”
Deno got his start as a fireman on a whim back in 1947.
“He was in a place called the Stagecoach Tavern,” said Chief Kevin Girard. “Somebody came in and said there was a fire and they would lose the village if they didn’t go and help. He went and got hooked, he’s been a member ever since.”
Girard actually met Deno as a kindergartner because not only was he a dedicated fireman, but a well-known and loved school bus driver, too.
“A man like that is rare,” said Tony Guillily, former chief. “Wayne was a good fellow, if he could help anyone he did.”
Guillily will be a pall bearer at the funeral. He said when you saw Wayne, you often saw him right there too. Many members say they’ll remember Wayne’s dedication to Wednesday night bingo which was a huge fundraiser for the volunteer department.
“Wayne religiously never missed a bingo,” Girard said. “That was the biggest thing I learned from him right off the bat was ‘we make money with bingo and this is how we do it.””