Passing of John E. Dugan, 85, of Wellsboro

John E. Dugan, 85, died Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. Wellsboro was his home and his life.

His passion was the Wellsboro Fire Department – and Wellsboro itself. He served as fire chief for 35 years, Tioga County Fire Coordinator for 40 years, and chief of the Wellsboro Firemen’s Ambulance Association.

In 50 years as a volunteer firefighter, he pioneered innovations that were adopted by departments across the country. His leadership helped to earn national recognition as “one of the best small town fire departments in the country.” Fire Chief magazine named Wellsboro “Firetown USA,” an honor the department still wears proudly.

As a young man, John served as a sergeant in the First Infantry Division (“The Big Red One”) in France and Germany at the close of the Second World War, and during the historic trials at Nuremberg. He later attended Mansfield State College, and was Wellsboro’s borough secretary for more than 40 years. After retirement, he was elected to the Wellsboro Borough Council, first as a member, later as president. The fire station/municipal building was later named in his honor.

An avid hunter and outdoorsman, he was a member of the Bake Oven Hunting Club, the Lions Club, and Rotary International, which honored him as a Paul Harris Fellow for his lifetime of community service.

He was born on Oct. 12, 1926, the son of Sarah Dugan and John J. Dugan, who was a founding member of the Wellsboro Firemen’s Ambulance Association. John is survived by his wife of 55 years, Nancy A. Dugan; a son, J. Scott Dugan and his wife Christine Dugan; a daughter, Kim (Dugan) Johnson and her husband Keith Johnson; four grandchildren, Sean Lewis, Sierra Johnson, Christie Johnson and Brennan Dugan; and one great-grandchild, Logan Vance.

After a long struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease, John died at the Hollidaysburg, Veterans’ Home.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Wellsboro Firemen’s Annex, just off East Avenue, Wellsboro.

Donations for a commemorative bench on Main Street may be made to the The John E. Dugan Memorial fund, Citizens & Northern Bank, 90 Main St., Wellsboro, Pa. 16901.


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