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June 9, 1929 – Jan. 20, 2014

Thomas Stainsby, who served as a volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years with the Ellwood Fire District in Kenmore, died Monday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital from congestive heart failure. He was 84.

Mr. Stainsby was a veteran of the Navy who served as an electronics technician on the submarine tender USS Gilmore in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean during World War II.

After working 37 years as a lineman for Niagara Mohawk Power Co. he retired in 1988.

In 1962, Mr. Stainsby was severely burned while working on a high-voltage line. “It was supposed to be shut off, but it was live,” said his son Jay Stainsby.

After his retirement, Mr. Stainsby joined Volunteers for Israel and during Operation Desert Storm he helped maintain military bases in Israel.

Mr. Stainsby, a lifelong resident of the Town of Tonawanda, was one of three firefighters who received certificates of merit for their actions in October 1969 in reviving a man who was overcome by fumes that sparked a fire in his basement.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Dawn Stellrecht; a daughter, Joy of Kenmore; two brothers, Jay of North Tonawanda and Ned of West Seneca; a sister, Shirley Kendall; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.