BROOKVILLE, JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– A Jefferson County fire department is mourning the loss of their fire police captain and resident Santa Claus.
Chuck Nelson passed away from cancer on December 16 at age 60.
Nelson was a member of the Pine Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Brookville for 30 years.
Nelson brought out the magic of Christmas in every child, both young and old.
Sandy young “He encouraged not only the children, but also the adults to sit on his knee,” fire department chaplain Sandy Young said. “He would ask, ‘come on, come on over here and sit on my knee!’”
What he loved just as much as putting on the jolly red suit, was teaching kids about fire safety.
“One of the biggest things was Fire Prevention Week,” fire department member Al Crate said. “A few of the guys got together and made up little skits and things like that.”
Every October, Nelson would visit schools and daycares for Fire Prevention Week.
“The kids just loved him,” department member Fuzz Young said. “The room was filled with excitement when came into the room.”
Nelson started as a firefighter and later became fire police captain.
He’s described as dependable and dedicated.
“No matter what time we had a fire call, Chuck would be there,” Fuzz Young said.
“He’s been a part of the department for a very long time,” former fire chief John Blicha said. “He will be very, very missed.”
Though missed, he will always be remembered for the spirit of Christmas he brought every day to the Pine Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
Along with those roles, Nelson also coached youth bowling, baseball and soccer.