WELLSBURG - Many Brooke County residents, including many firefighters, are mourning the death of Ron Ostrosky, a long-time member and officer of the Franklin Community Fire Department who also represented firefighters throughout the county as leader of the Brooke County Firefighters Association.
Ostrosky, who died Friday following a year-long battle with cancer, was president of the association for many years and member of the Franklin Community Fire Department since 1971, serving as chief from 1984-92 and treasurer from 2001-13.
Fellow Franklin firefighter Darin Pizer noted Ostrosky held other offices, including president, vice president and assistant chief and was a member of the Wellsburg Kiwanis Club, for which he chaired the group's chicken barbeuce fundraiser and oversaw the placement of luminaria along state Route 2 and other areas at Christmas.
Larry Palmer, past Franklin fire chief, said Ostrosky also helped to revive the Brooke County Firefighters Association and represented the group in talks with the Brooke County Commission concerning the county's fire levy, upgrades needed for the county's radio equipment and efforts to assign citystyle addresses.
Palmer said while Ostrosky was easy going by nature, he stood his ground when it came to issues he believed were vital to local firefighters.
"He did so much for the firefighters of our county," Palmer said. "As a firefighter, I learned so much from him."
One to whom Ostrosky passed on his knowledge is Mike Bolen, president of the Franklin fire department, who began serving as interim treasurer when Ostrosky was battling cancer.
"Ron had taught me a lot (about the treasurer's duties) in case something would happen to one of us," Bolen said, adding he is following Ostrosky's example by training another firefighter to serve as treasurer.
Bolen said of Ostrosky, "He was always involved, whether it was a work detail or a call. You never had to ask if he was coming or not. He would just be there."
He added he will always remember Ostrosky's cheerful attitude.
"I've never seen such a positive person, even if he got sick," Bolen said.
Bolen said a March 1 spaghetti dinner, planned to help the Ostrosky family with their medical expenses prior to Ron's death, still will be held. The event, which will include a silent auction, will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Franklin United Methodist Church, where he was a member.
Brooke County Commissioner Tim Ennis said, "Ron was dedicated to his family and the community through his work with local fire departments and the Kiwanis Club. He will be sorely missed in Brooke County."
Ostrosky was employed for many years in the insurance field, serving as a claims adjuster for Municipal Mutual Insurance, among other positions. He is survived by his wife, Cindy, four children and seven grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Mullenbach Funeral Home, where a service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday.