Continuing to serve, even in retirement

Recently honored for his half century of service to the Belgium Fire Department, Don Weyker is one of the veterans who makes sure firefighters have nothing to worry about

FORMER BELGIUM FIREFIGHTER Don Weyker (left), who retired in the mid-1980s but has remained active in the department, was presented recently with a clock by Fire Chief Dan Birenbaum in honor of Weyker’s 50 years of service.

By MITCH MAERSCH

Ozaukee Press staff

Don Weyker recently received a clock to honor his commitment to the Belgium Fire Department.

If it measured years, the hands would have to go around 50 times to measure Weyker’s service. Weyker served the department for half a century.

He said he became a firefighter because “a lot of my friends joined.”

The first fire he responded to was at the barn of a family member. Nobody was injured, but Weyker’s father-in-law Greg Feider lost purebred Holsteins in the blaze on Nov. 3, 1972. The cause was not suspicious but it was never determined.

Weyker worked at Bolens in Port Washington, which allowed firefighters to leave on a moment’s notice for calls.

Weyker said he stayed with the department for “just something to do. I’d go down there and talk to the guys, go to the meetings.”

After retiring from firefighting, Weyker did maintenance work on trucks and portable equipment, did laundry and folded towels at the station.

Fire Chief Dan Birenbaum, who joined the department in 1979, said Weyker retired in the mid-1980s.

“That’s when there were a lot of young people joining,” Birenbaum said.

Weyker’s service, however, didn’t end just because he stopped responding to fires. He was extremely handy, and the trio of Weyker, Steve Bley and Gerald Hubing did a lot of work at the firehouse, Birenbaum said.

Completing those tasks made life easier for the active firefighters.

“It was nice to have those old guys. We didn’t have to worry about anything,” Birenbaum said.

Receiving a clock is an honor the department regularly gives to 50-year members, Birenbaum said. They are presented at the department’s annual awards banquet in November, but Weyker couldn’t come. Several firefighters came to his Belgium home instead to give Weyker his accolade. His wife Dorothy and their four children were there as well, making for a special moment.

For Birenbaum, this honoree was more than a longtime dedicated member.

“He’s a very good guy, one of my best friends,” he said. “He did a lot for the department and the community.”

Firefighting is in the Weyker family. Weyker’s son Tom served with the department, as well as his grandson Joe.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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