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.”