Vienna mourns Goodwin at funeral

VIENNA – Fire department representatives from across West Virginia attended the funeral of long-time Vienna Volunteer Fire Chief Danny Goodwin.

Goodwin, 67, died Monday after becoming ill on Christmas Day while visiting family in Cincinnati.

His funeral took place Saturday in the Family Life Center of Wayside United Methodist Church in Vienna. Goodwin was a member of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department for more than 40 years and was appointed chief in 1990.

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp said Goodwin’s passing leaves a large void in the fire department.

“He gave 40-plus years of service to the department and the city of Vienna and he will be missed,” Rapp said after the funeral.

Rapp said the search for a new chief has not begun, but will soon. Since the department is incorporated as a volunteer fire department, it will up to the VFD’s board to pick a new chief.

“They will pick a new chief and present that person to the city council for consideration,” he said.

Councilman Roger Bibbee said he worked with Goodwin at the department.

“I was with the fire department for 28 years and got to know Danny when he came on in 1971,” Bibbee said.

Bibbee also said appointing a new chief has not been discussed at this time. The department is in a unique situation as a volunteer department serving a city, he said.

Councilman Jim Miracle said Goodwin will be missed.

“He will be a treasured memory in the lives of many people in Vienna for many years to come,” Miracle said. “Danny Goodwin was the man many would like to be, he lived his life in service for everyone.”

Parkersburg Fire Chief Eric Taylor said he met Goodwin when he was taking one of his first classes as a firefighter in the 1980s. Taylor said Goodwin’s passing was one of several the firefighting community in Wood County has endured in the last few months.

“We lost several this year, we lost Chief (Virgil) Flinn in Lubeck and then Chief (Joe) Ruf in Williamstown,” he said. “It’s been a tough time for the fire service community in Wood County.”

John Hall Jr., chief of East Fork Volunteer Fire Department in Mingo County, was among those from outside of Wood County paying respects to Goodwin. Hall said Goodwin was a friend to many in departments across West Virginia,.

“He was a good friend. We met a few years back at a conference in Charleston, I met his staff and we became friends,” Hall said. “We’d get together at conferences every year. I came here to pay my respects to a good friend in the firefighter family.”