29 October 2015
Passing of Banks District Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Gary Bonnett
By David D. Taylor, JD, Department spokesperson
ROCK CAVE (WV) – It is with very heavy hearts today that we announce the passing of Banks District Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Gary Bonnett, who passed away early this morning after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Chief Bonnett was a fire chief who was highly respected by his peers and everyone in and connected to the fire service throughout West Virginia. He was the consummate fire chief.
Bonnett was recently installed as the president of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs. He also held the position of President of the West Virginia State Fire Chief’s Association and was a governor’s appointment to the West Virginia State Fire Commission.
Bonnett was diagnosed with cancer several years back and underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
Despite battling cancer, Bonnett remained active within the fire department and even the organizations he headed, all while retaining the fire chief’s position until his death. Even though he was not physically in the office as often as he wanted to be, he had daily contact with command officers of the department by telephone to ensure the department was running smoothly and efficiently.
Due to Bonnett’s passing, First Assistant Chief Mark Loudin will, pursuant to department policy, assume the fire chief’s position until a special department meeting can be called.
Department flags will be at half-staff for the next 7 days in honor of Bonnett.
It is a deep loss for the department and the Rock Cave community. The legacy that Bonnett leaves behind will not only inspire department members, but every Upshur County firefighter and fire service members statewide, for years to come.
Bonnett is survived by his wife Sharon, and two children: Gary II and Erika.
Services are incomplete at this time.
For further press inquiries, contact David D. Taylor, JD, at 304.924.6864.