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New Windsor to dedicate town hall room in Jack Coe’s honor; son stepped down as fire chief

Jack Coe, pictured in 2010, worked as a water and sewer consultant for New Windsor for 60 years. He died on Dec. 26.
Jack Coe, pictured in 2010, worked as a water and sewer consultant for New Windsor for 60 years. He died on Dec. 26.

New Windsor’s mayor announced that the town intends to honor a longtime water and sewer consultant by naming the town hall meeting room after him.

Jack Coe, who died on Dec. 26 at 79 years old, served the town for 60 years, according to New Windsor Mayor Neal Roop.

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Roop announced the plans for a dedication to Coe at New Windsor’s Town Council meeting Feb. 5.

“I had the honor and privilege of going to, on Jan. 18, the New Windsor Fire Department’s annual banquet, where I had the honor, with the blessing and support of the entire council and staff, to let them know that this room, the meeting room, will be named in honor of Jack Coe,” Roop said.

According to Roop, he and the council felt it was well deserved for all that Coe had done for New Windsor.

“Jack had 60-plus years of experience working with New Windsor’s water systems. We often joked at council meetings that Jack knew where every pipe in town was laid, and when, and by whom," Councilwoman Kimberlee Schultz said. "We were joking, but this isn’t far from the truth. I can recall many instances when someone on the council asked a question about something in the water or sewer system, and Jack quietly spoke up and gave us a detailed history of the area in question.

"Since we lost Jack, our town staff have really stepped up and are doing a terrific job managing the water systems. Nonetheless, Jack’s store of knowledge is irreplaceable.”

After Coe’s death, Wayne Meyers, the town’s public works director, has stepped up to take over some of the responsibilities of Coe’s role, according to Roop.

“Wayne Meyers knows he has huge shoes to fill," Roop said in an email. "However, Wayne has done a remarkable job taking over and overseeing the Town’s water and sewer systems. Wayne is a very competent and dedicated employee with the same outlook that I feel Jack had, proud to work in the town in which they lived in.”

According to Roop, some kind of plaque or sign will be installed as a visual representation of the dedication to Coe.

Roop said he is currently coordinating with the Coe family on a date and time for the dedication.

Coe also served as the treasurer for the New Windsor Fire Department, where his son Thomas served as chief.

New fire chief in town

Soon after his father’s death, Thomas Coe stepped down as fire chief, according to the new New Windsor Fire Department chief, Byron Welker.

Coe had added responsibilities as interim chief of the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services, where he has worked for almost 20 years. Those other duties contributed to his decision to step down, he said.

Coe attributes much of his success to his father’s work.

“I owe a very large amount of my success in the service to my father,” he said. “To him, getting involved in the the service and watching his leadership over the years at the New Windsor Fire Department.”

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Welker, a New Windsor native, also serves as a lieutenant for the Baltimore County Fire Department.

Welker said he took over in the position on Jan. 1. He has been adjusting well into the new position and has still been working closely with Coe to get acclimated, he said.

“Tom is still a good resource,” Welker said. “Even though he stepped down as fire chief, he continues to provide advice and questions that I have on anything coming up.”

According to Welker, Coe remains an active member, still responding to fire calls and “things like that.”

Coe thinks his father would’ve been too humble to accept the dedication if he was still here, but would’ve been honored all the same.

“My dad was very humble, so he would’ve stayed away from any recognition like that,” Coe said. “But he absolutely adored the town of New Windsor and everything about it. So I think, quietly, he would have been very proud about such an honor.”

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