On behalf of the Hojnicki family, the Minquadale Fire Company announced the passing of past-Chief Joseph W. Hojnicki, Sr.
Chief Emeritus Hojnicki started his career with public service when he enlisted in the Navy on March 16, 1944. He served his country well and was honorably discharged after two years, two months and 22 days of service. Joe then began to serve his community by joining the Minquadale Fire Company in 1947.
Through his years with the fire company he served on numerous committees and offices. He was an officer of the company for a total of 56 years and was awarded the titles of Chief Emeritus as well as President Emeritus. He took his dedication even further and served the fire service by becoming the President of the DVFA in 1996. Joe’s dedication to the fire service was unquestionable, even installing a fire siren in his back yard so the members that lived farther away would be able to hear when they had an alarm.
During his time with Minquadale, Chief Emeritus Hojnicki was instrumental in designing the new fire apparatus that has been purchased over the years. As a self-taught draftsman who designed the planetarium’s flight simulator, Imax projection screens and even a “Back to the Future” ride for Universal Studios, Joe’s knowledge was greatly appreciated when helping design and configure the new apparatus. He would then make sure to teach all the drivers and firefighters about the new apparatus. For most of his 56 years of service he was a driver and operator, helping to get firefighters safely to and from emergency calls. Chief Emeritus Hojnicki was committed to education and training for firefighters and was a member of the committee that established the Delaware State Fire School. Joe served as an instructor with the fire school for many years and was well known in its halls.
Chief Emeritus Hojnicki was the first recipient of the New Castle County Volunteer Firefighters Association Sonny Wilkins Longevity Award in 1990, New Castle County Firefighters Association Firefighter of the Year in 1980, Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association Firefighter of the year in 1994, and was appointed to the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association Hall of Fame in 1985. He was also an honorary member of both Holloway Terrace and Wilmington Manor Fire Company.
Joe’s wisdom and knowledge will live on in those whom he had mentored over the years. The company members are greatly appreciative of his dedication and love for the fire service. Joe’s leadership and guidance will be dearly missed by the Minquadale Fire Company.