Jan. 25 marked a special evening for Lewiston No. 2 Volunteer Fire Co. at its 72nd installation of officers' dinner at the firehall on Saunders Settlement Road. It was a time for the fire company family to remember and honor one of its own.
Joseph Passanese Sr., a long-active contributor to fire service in the Lewiston community, who was a 10-year member of Lewiston No. 2 and served as its fire chief for 2012-13, passed away in November. He was honored that evening in a moving video tribute, compiled by fire company members Sandy Johnson and Rodney Dullen, who recalled his 22 years of fire service.
It all began in 1991 when Passanese signed on as a member of Upper Mountain Fire Co. He served as chief of Upper Mountain from 1999 to 2004. Passanese went on to become a fire inspector in 2004 and joined Lewiston No. 2 that same year. In 2011, he became fire coordinator and served as chief of Lewiston No. 2 this past year.
Passanese was recognized that evening with a 10-year service pin, presented to his wife, Lynn; son, Joe Jr.; and daughter, Lauren Passanese-Campbell. He was also honored for his 116 calls to service in 2013 for Lewiston No. 2, the most among its members.
One of his final acts of service was the selecting of Lewiston No. 2 member Jennifer Zimmerman as Firefighter of the Year for 2013.