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Remembering Our Heroes

We honor the legends of Station 19 who spent a lifetime serving our community.

You Will Never Be Forgotten.

The bond forged within the fire service is impossible to explain until experienced firsthand. Trusting one’s life to a fellow firefighter, and being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for them, creates a bond unparalleled in its depth and strength. This page is a tribute to those friends we have lost — the legends of our crew who, with unwavering commitment and bravery, gave of themselves with a lifetime of service to others. We honor and remember them, not just as colleagues, but as family. To our heroes, we miss you. Rest easy, you will never be forgotten.

Ira "Butch" Shade

Ira G. “Butch” Shade, 75, of Old Zionsville, passed away Tuesday, August 15, 2023. He was the husband of Carol A. (Lindaberry) Shade to whom he was married 56 years. Born in Allentown, August 28, 1947, Ira was the son of the late David E. and Shirley A. (Steltz) Shade. He worked in the maintenance department at Victaulic Company of America (formerly Kline Foundry) in Alburtis for over 35 years before retiring in 2013. An active volunteer firefighter, Ira was Past Chief and held various other positions of Upper Milford Western Dist. #1 (Old Zionsville) Fire Company, a life member of Macungie Fire Company, and was a Wildland Fire Fighter and Fire Warden for many years. In addition, he was a life member of Nimrod Rod and Gun Club and member of Alburtis Rod and Gun Club and Upper Milford Field and Stream Association. Ira enjoyed his lifelong hobby of hunting, touring on his motorcycle, and spending time with his family and friends at his cabin in Sullivan County. He was a member of Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Old Zionsville.

Michael Ruyak Jr.

Michael E. Ruyak, Jr., 80, of Upper Milford Township, passed away on Friday, May 26, 2023. He was born in Reading, PA on January 27, 1943. He is preceded in death by his father, Michael E. Ruyak, Sr.; mother, Mary (Skrovina) Ruyak; brother, Stephen Ruyak (Nov 2022); and son, Michael E. Ruyak, III (March 19, 1988).

Mike is survived by his wife, Rosemarie ‘Rosie’ (Tiwold) Ruyak; son, David Ruyak; daughter-in-law, Erin (Martin) Ruyak; granddaughter, Cecilia Ruyak; and grandson, Benjamin Ruyak.

Mike was a long-time member of the UMWD Fire Company and we thank him for his years of service.

Submit Your Hero

If you have an Upper Milford Fire Department Hero who served with station 19, we’d love to include them on this page. Please tell us about them below and attach a photo so we can thank them for their service to our community.

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      Thank you so to all of the UMWD firefighters who quickly came to the aid of our daughter in her recent car accident. We can't tell you how much we appreciate the amazing way that you cared for her in a time of need. You all are wonderful!


      Please let your firefighters know how much we appreciate their fast response during our home fire last week. We never thought this could happen to us and can't thank you enough for helping to save our home!

      MildredPowder Valley

      Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit our second grade class, and for the invaluable lessons in fire safety. The service that your volunteers provide is invaluable to our community.

      TaraTeacher, 2nd Grade