Scottdale man remembered for time in fire service
John Leroy Chain knew he was carrying on a tradition when he joined the Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department. But what he didn’t know, was that it was a tradition that would carry on to his son and grandson.
“His grandfather and people before him were firefighters, so it’s been generations,” son John Michael Chain said. “I’m a firefighter and my son’s a firefighter, so it’s carried down a generation.”
And he loved every second of it, his son said, serving on the board of directors for the Scottdale Fireman’s Club, as fire police chief and holding several different offices. He also served as the first aid captain for the fire department ambulance service before the Mutual Aid Ambulance Corp. took over. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Annual Service Award several times.
John Leroy Chain, 74, of Scottdale died unexpectedly Sunday, May 5, 2019 at Excela Health Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, surrounded by family.
Born in Mt. Pleasant on Sept. 11, 1944, he was the son of the late Edna Chain.
Graduating from Scottdale High School, Mr. Chain started as a heavy equipment operator with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission where he worked for more than 40 years.
Marrying the late Virginia L. Graft Chain and having two children, the couple decided to build a house in Scottdale. During that time, they lived in Bullskin Township. Unable to volunteer at the Scottdale department for those three years, he quickly decided to volunteer his time at the Bullskin Township Volunteer Fire Department.
A passion for working with people kept him motivated in the fire service, along with a love for running bingos and street fairs, his son said.
“You couldn’t get past him without buying tickets” for fire department events, Chain said. “His familiar phrase was ‘give me a buck.’ ”
In his free time, Mr. Chain enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, camping in a RV with his wife and traveling to Las Vegas, Niagara Falls and different beaches.
“He wasn’t one to be sitting around watching TV or staring at the wall,” Chain said.
“He’s an outgoing person and everyone loved him,” he added. “He was a people person and he couldn’t go anywhere without seeing somebody he knew.”
In addition to his wife, he is preceded in death by his sister Donna Boyer.
In addition to son John Michael, he is survived by his other son Greg Chain, and his grandchildren Megan C. Chain Drivinghawk and Michael A. Chain and his great-grandchild Michael Alan Chain Jr.
Friends will be received 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Frank Kapr Funeral Home, Inc., 417 Pittsburgh St., Scottdale. A memorial service held by the fire department will begin at 7 p.m.
Friends will also be received from 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. A funeral service will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday at the funeral home, with the Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department Chaplin Pastor David Mishler officiating.
Committal services and interment will follow at Green Ridge Memorial Park.
Memorial donations can be made to the Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department in Mr. Chain’s memory.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .