Visitation slated for North Irwin firefighter
The family of the late North Irwin volunteer firefighter James C. Gumbert, who died while responding to a blaze this week, has announced that visitation will be 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Gumbert, 63, of Penn Avenue, died of an apparent heart attack as he responded to the fire station about 2:45 a.m. to fight a blaze on Webster Street. Authorities said Gumbert, a member of the department for two years, began feeling chest pains when he arrived at the fire station.
He was pronounced dead at Forbes Regional Medical Center in Monroeville, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office.
North Irwin Fire Department officials said Thursday hundreds of firefighters from the region are expected to attend Gumbert’s formal funeral service at 11 a.m. Monday at the Norwin Christian Church, 9610 Barnes Lake Road, North Huntingdon, where he was a member.
Visitation will be held at Joseph F. Ott Funeral Home Inc., 504 Oak St., Irwin. A firefighter memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the funeral home.
Officials recommend that firefighters attending the memorial service assemble at approximately 6:10 p.m. in Irwin Park at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street.
Gumbert, a retired professional driver for Butler Motor Coach, was treasurer of the community’s junior firefighting organization, in which he mentored junior and adult firefighters.
The Vietnam War veteran served in the Navy aboard the USS Battleship Odyssey and was the recipient of the Purple Heart.
He was a member of the American Legion Post 359 in Irwin and the VFW Post 781, also in Irwin. He is survived by two daughters, Kelly Heckert, of Distant, and Jamie Ferland of Harrisburg; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Officials are asking firefighters who plan to attend Monday’s service to proceed directly to the church. Interment will follow in Lakewood Memorial Park in Springdale.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to the American Cancer Society, 320 Bilmar Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205.