John Paul Feeley

John Paul Feeley, 75 of Ivanhoe, Texas passed away Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth, Beaumont, Texas. John Paul was born on November 29th, 1939 to Paul and Agnes Feeley of Chester, Pa. Whether to advance his career as a merchant seaman or in pursuit of his passion for firefighting, John Paul was a lifelong student. Due to this passion for learning he rose to the highest levels of both endeavors. At age 19, John Paul began his career as a merchant seaman as a wiper, an entry level position, and soon found himself moving up the ladder. Through hard work and a quest for knowledge, John Paul became a Chief Engineer at the young age of 36. During his time working for the lykes Brothers Steamship Co. John Paul had the opportunity to see much of the world. As John Paul said “If its got 20 feet of water around it, I’ve probably been there”. In 1984, John Paul went to work for the Trinidad Corp. aboard an oil tanker making pipeline runs to Valdez, Alaska. He continued in this role until his retirement. While John Paul made his career on the sea, his true passion was for the Volunteer firefighting service, His 60 years of service began in 1954. Despite an age requirement of 16, John Paul managed to join at the age of 15. He joined the Vidor Volunteer Fire Dept. In the late 1960’s, rising to the rank of Chief, continuing in that role until his retirement to Ivanhoe in the mid 1990’s. Intending to enjoy a quiet retirement, howeve~that was to be short lived. John Paul soon found the call of the fire service once again. He became the training director of the Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Dept. and ultimately the Chief. He continued as Chief until his death. Among the many titles and certifications John Paul received throughout his 60 year firefighting career some of the more impressive are as follows; Associates degree in fire protection technology, Emergency Management Coordinator for Tyler County, certified Master firefighter, certified Fire Marshall, certified fire investigator, former President of the East Texas Firemen’s and Fire Marshals Assoc., Instructor at lamar Univ. Fire School, Training officer and Chief of Vidor Volunteer Fire Dept, during his time as Chief in Ivanhoe, he played a pivotal role in both hurricanes Rita and Ike, and for the last 18 years, he was the Training Director and Chief of the Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Dept. John Paul is survived by sister, Rosemary Wissler and her husband Willis of Newark, DE., nephews William Wissler and wife lynn of Chester, PA., Robert Wissler and wife linda of Newark, DE., John Wissler and wife Heather of New Castle, DE., great nephews, Sean Wissler of Ivanhoe, Texas, lan, Erik, and great niece, Grace Wissler of New Castle, DE.. A Fireman’s Honor Funeral was held Monday, February 2, 2015, at 2 pm at the Riley Funeral Home Chapel with Brother Clark Mahoney officiating. Visitation was held Sunday evening at the funeral home. Volunteer Firemen from around the Southeast and East Texas area honored John Paul with a Fireman’s grave side service at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were members of the Firefighters from the area fire department and nephews, William and Robert Wissler. A memorial book may be made at www.rileysfuneralhome@yahoo.comServices were held under the direction of Riley Funeral Home of Tyler County.
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