Top Stories 2012: Death Of Easton Firefighter

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Russell Neary, a lieutenant and president of the Easton Volunteer Fire Company, died in the line of duty during Hurricane Sandy.
Russell Neary, a lieutenant and president of the Easton Volunteer Fire Company, died in the line of duty during Hurricane Sandy. Photo Credit: Easton Volunteer Fire Department
Hundreds of firefighters attend the funeral of Russell Neary at Notre Dame of Easton Church on Nov. 3.
Hundreds of firefighters attend the funeral of Russell Neary at Notre Dame of Easton Church on Nov. 3. Photo Credit: Ken Liebeskind

EASTON, Conn. – The death of Easton firefighter Russell Neary, who was struck by a falling tree on Judd Road on Oct. 29 as Hurricane Sandy swept into the area, was a top event of 2012 and one of the most devastating for all area residents.

Neary, a lieutenant and president of the Easton Volunteer Fire Company, was a vice president at General Reinsurance in Stamford and was active with the Easton Democratic Party.

“He died in the line of duty doing what he loved to do: helping people,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a memorial address. Malloy ordered flags flown at half staff around the state Nov. 2 and 3 in honor of Neary.

His funeral on Nov. 3 drew hundreds of firefighters from around the state who stood at attention outside the funeral Mass at Notre Dame of Easton church.

“His passion was to be a fireman. It was in his heart and soul to help others,” Kevin Faley, his brother-in-law, told mourners. “He went on every call he could, including Monday’s, when he died on duty helping others.”

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