The Westbury Fire Department and Hose Company 1 announced the passing of Honorary Chief and 76-year member Morton J. Lemkau on August 14, 2020, at the age of 94.

Morton J. ‘Morty’ Lemkau, “A True Gentleman” was born July 25, 1926. At an early age, his family moved to Westbury, where he attended Westbury High School, Class of 1944 and was an active player on their football team. His family was also instrumental in the establishment of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Westbury.

In November 1944 he was drafted into the US Army during World War II and was assigned to the Cavalry, later stationed in the Philippines, and followed that by his posting in Japan as part of the US Army of Occupation. He rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Morty joined the Westbury Fire Department on March 1, 1944, working alongside the members of Hose Company1.

He married in October 2, 1955, to Marianne. They have two children, Nancy (deceased), John, and five loving grandchildren. Being proud of his heritage, Morty traveled to Germany several times from where his ancestors immigrated. At the age of 92 he moved to Santee, California, on his new adventure.

He leaves a legacy of that of a man who showed compassion and unselfish ways, along with devotion to his family, church, employees, friends, fellow firefighters — both young and old — and to the Westbury Community.

An outstanding model of what you can achieve through hard work and commitment, he will be forever remembered by those who were honored to have known him.

– Fire News photos by; story compiled by Thomas & Annalisa Durnan