Dec. 7, 1924 – Dec. 9, 2013
Daniel R. Magrum, a fire chief and a mainstay at Bowmansville Volunteer Fire Company for more than half a century, died Monday in Terrace View Long-Term Care Facility at Erie County Medical Center while recovering from injuries suffered in a fall from a ladder outside his Bowmansville home. He was 89.
One of nine children, he attended local schools and lived his entire life in the house where he was born.
During World War II, Mr. Magrum served in the Army with the 137th Signal Radio Intelligence Company in Europe.
He was a mechanical engineer and a repairman, and was considered by many Bowmansville’s unofficial historian.
“He could make anything and build anything and fix anything,” said Dan Curtis, the fire company’s chaplain. “There was only one way to do things around the firehouse, and that was Danny’s way.”
Mr. Magrum became a Bowmansville firefighter in August 1946 and was a life member, serving for 67 years. He was first assistant chief in 1953 and chief from 1954 to 1956 and again in 1964.
He was a member of the company’s Building and Truck committees in the 1950s and 1960s, and served as a director and trustee in the 1960s and 1970s.
Mr. Magrum also served as clubroom chairman and was a member of the Bingo and Gun Raffle committees. He was a past president and longtime trustee of the Exempt Firemen’s Benevolent Association and served on the Western New York Firemen’s Association Convention Committee in 1971.
He was a life member of the Erie County Firemen’s Association, Erie County Chiefs Mutual Aid Organization, New York State Fire Chiefs Association and Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.
He also was a longtime member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and played Santa Claus for generations of Bowmansville youngsters.
Although he was gruff, Curtis said, “He had a heart of gold. Everybody my age and younger in the department were his kids. He was a pretty amazing guy.”
Survivors include a sister, Olive Merrill.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in Sacred Heart Church, 5337 Genesee St., Bowmansville.