Hundreds of firefighters from throughout southwest Virginia gathered Sunday to remember a man who served over 46 years as volunteer in the Christiansburg department.
Roy Lee Redd, who was 66, served in many capacities for the fire department and won the state Fire Truck Rodeo several times.
Redd, who retired in 2009 after 37 years working with the town’s public works department, passed away Wednesday after a long fight with cancer and recent battle with pneumonia. Local leaders remembered Redd for his longtime service through the fire department.
Christiansburg Mayor Michael Barber called Redd a hero. “His loss will be felt throughout this community. He dedicated his life to serving the New River Valley, and he loved the Town of Christiansburg. We were lucky to have so much of him for so long. His humor, his selflessness and his commitment to service will be missed.”
In 2014, he was recognized by the Montgomery County board of supervisors for answering 678 fire calls that year.
Chris Tuck, the chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, also pointed to the death this past week of former President George H.W. Bush who started the 1,000 Point of Light, promoting volunteerism.
“Roy was exactly what President Bush was talking about. A serious illness did not slow him down as he continued to provide service to the community. His death is a tremendous loss,” Tuck said.
Bush likened the idea of volunteering to a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky. During his administration, he recognized more than 1,000 volunteers as “points of light,” and he advocated that “points of light” demonstrate how “a neighbor can help a neighbor.”
Since he was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, Redd still answered over 5,500 fire calls.
During services on Sunday at Auburn Baptist Church, the firefighter was described as a hero that was humble and kept giving until the last day of his life. Fire Chief Billy Hanks said Redd was an example for others to follow, even when you’re down they’re others that can are even worse. “Roy kept giving to the community until his last day,” Hanks said.
“Roy Redd was a dear friend to all of us at the Christiansburg Fire Department. We truly lost a family member, and someone who exemplified everything it means to serve your community to the fullest. Roy was one of the finest men I’ve ever known, and everything he did for this Town, for his coworkers, for his fellow firefighters and for the community at large will not be forgotten.”
Several years ago, the CFD volunteer squad named a special award in Redd’s name that is presented annually to a deserving firefighter for service to the community.
Over a dozen fire trucks led the motorcade from Auburn Baptist to a resting place in Sunset Cemetery. The group took a path by the fire station one last time, which was Redd’s home away from home.
Several trucks even sounded the horn that had become accustomed to being Redd’s calling card when he pulled out of the station bays. Many firefighters stood in front of the fire station in remembrance of their colleague.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Christiansburg Fire Department, 110 Depot St, Christiansburg, Va. 24073.