In remembrance of fallen firefighters and members who were actively involved in the department at the time of their passing.
James "Jimmy" Wesley Epperly
Former Fire Chief
James "Jimmy" Wesley Epperly passed away on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. He served on the Christiansburg Fire Department for 54 years, 38 of which were as Fire Chief. After joining the Christiansburg Fire Department, he rose through the ranks as Firefighter, Engineer and Training Officer, Lieutenant and Captain. He was elected as Chief in 1971 and held that position until his retirement in 2009. He was hired by the Town of Christiansburg in 1988 to be the first paid career chief. He was the longest seated chief in the history of the department to date, as well as the youngest chief in its history. He was President of the Virginia State Fire Chiefs Association 1998-99; appointed to the Virginia Fire Service Board by Governor Charles Robb in 1985; President in 1974-75 and Life Member in 1990 of the Southwest Virginia Firefighters Association; Charter Member of the Virginia Fire Services Council; Chairman of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Commission 2005-10; and Life Member of the Christiansburg Rescue Squad. He also received a letter from President Richard M. Nixon in 1972 for his dedication to fire prevention. He served as Vice President, President and Owner of Epperly Pontiac-GMC Trucks until 1988 when he became full-time Fire Chief. Chief Epperly was also an avid hunter. Jimmy was known to some as a cowboy, and he responded a few times to fire calls on horseback. Jimmy had a love for racing and spending time on Claytor Lake.
James "Jimmy" Madison Williams
Former Assistant Fire Chief & Firefighter
Former Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Williams passed away April 24, 2021. He served as the longest-sitting Assistant Fire Chief to date and was an active duty firefighter at the time of his passing. Jimmy had been a member of the Christiansburg Fire Department since 1967 and also served as a member of the Southwest Virginia Firefighters Association and the Virginia Firefighters Association, where he is a member of the Hall of Fame. He managed Beaver Auto Supply for many years. He loved spending his summers as a member of the Montgomery County Game and Fish Club. Jimmy always loved to have a good time from dancing and singing to telling a good joke or just spending time with friends and family. Jimmy also enjoyed racing. He was dedicated to the department for many years and so was his wife, Phyllis, who was an auxiliary member. With both gone, the department has a hole that can’t be filled—their love and support can not be replaced. Jimmy and Phyllis's youngest son Jeremy is still an active member of the department.
Delano "Cookie" Lee Cochran
FirefighterDelano "Cookie" Lee Cochran joined the Christiansburg Fire Department in 1969. Lee enjoyed building homes and relaxing on Claytor Lake when not around the fire station. Lee always enjoyed finding something free to eat. He also enjoyed getting out of town when the weather turned cold and spending time with his wife, Doris, in Florida. Lee worked at Electro Tech for over 30 years. Lee also was an avid craftsman builder who would scour for materials in local dumpsters to use for a project. Lee always enjoyed building a new house for someone so that they make it into a home. He built and renovated many homes in the New River Valley and surrounding areas. Lee enjoyed pumping the apparatus and helping to maintain them in the station. When a fire would break out, Lee was known for always keeping water on the line for the firefighters inside.
Brian Richard Hubert Horne
Brian Richard Hubert Horne was a Life Member of the Shawsville Volunteer Rescue Squad, an honorary member of Christiansburg Rescue, and an active member of the Christiansburg Fire Department, where he enjoyed the challenges of competing at both the Southwest Firefighter’s Association Conventions and the Virginia State Firefighters Association Conventions. Brian was employed with Horne Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Christiansburg. He was also a member of the Virginia Funeral Directors Association, where he was active for many years with state conventions and committees. Brian was also a member of the Selected Independent Funeral Homes and a member of the Virginia Independent Funeral Homes, where he was a past President—once serving as all the Chair seats.
Brian had a love for helping people in the community in many different ways: from running rescue calls, fire calls and even the funeral service. Brian also had a love for warning lights; he would outfit his vehicle to be seen for miles. Brian’s greatest passion was watching his daughters grow into the women they are today. He was also known for being a practical jokester around the fire house.
Roy "Hot Dog" Lee ReddFirefighter
Roy “Hot Dog” Lee Redd retired in 2009 from the Town of Christiansburg after 40 years of service as a second generation employee. He was a faithful and loyal volunteer with the Christiansburg Fire Department since 1973. He served in many capacities with the Southwest Virginia Fire Association and State Fire Association for many years, where he was the Fire Truck Rodeo Champion multiple times. Roy was an avid hunter, enjoying deer, elk, and especially bear hunting with his hounds. Roy was an instructor with the Department of Fire Programs. He taught many classes throughout Virginia. Roy’s passion for the fire service and teaching was like no other. Roy had a love for our 1988 Grumman Ladder truck. Roy would wash and wax the truck at least twice a year, especially at Christmas to haul Santa through town during the annual parade. Roy often traveled to other fire departments to show his respect for fallen firefighters. Roy showed each member how tough he truly was during his battle with cancer. Roy faithfully fought and beat cancer, never letting it slow him down.
Howard Hall was a second-generation firefighter. His father, Paul Hall, served as Chief from 1968 to 1972. Howard was a hard-charger around the firehouse. He was the type of person that could do anything he set his mind to do—a Jack-of-all-trades. He loved his family and was an avid pilot. Howard also loved the family business, the old Hall Brothers Furniture Store in Christiansburg. He is truly missed by those who knew him.
Larry Richardson proudly served the department and the community for 6 years before his untimely death. Larry loved doing overhaul after a structure fire. You could be rest assured that if he was on scene tearing things out, you knew you didn’t have to worry about a fire rekindling. He was a loving family man and was proud of the job he did as a member of the department.