“If you want to be a clown,
you’d better be lookin’ for a circus.
If you’re lookin’ for a free ride,
here’s a dollar; call a cab.
If you want to be a “Showman”,
Vegas will welcome you with open arms.
If fulfillment of an ego is high on your
priority list, might I suggest Hollywood.
And if you want to be a millionaire,
by all means, this ain’t for you.
But, if you don’t mind hard work, sweating in
freezing weather, getting back less than half of
what you give, and finding your name at the
bottom of your own priority list,
then stick around!
I believe you could be a Firefighter.
Battalion Chief William “Billy” Obenchain”
The Roanoke Fire / EMS Department lost an innovator, a teacher, mentor, Battalion Chief, and good friend but, most of all; a great man back in December of 2009. That’s when Chief William “Billy” Obenchain lost his battle with the rare Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL). To get a better understanding of the man Chief Billy was PLEASE take a moment to read an article Rhett Fleitz put together and posted on Roanokefire.com following the Chief’s retirement. Find that article HERE.
The Chief was laid to rest with Fire Department Honors on a cold and windy December day.
View Rhett’s coverage of the funeral from roanokefire.com HERE
Lt. Mike Overacker (retired) has photo coverage HERE
Learn more about “CTCL” Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma and a cause for a cure in Billy’s name at Steps4Billy.org
Chief Billy has been gone just over a year now but he is not and will not be forgotten. Somehow or another I missed a great article in our local news concerning Billy’s younger sister Alice (Alice Obenchain-Leeson).
Alice chose to literally walk through her grief. She decided to walk 100 miles in a single week visiting places that held special memories and/or were favorites of Billy. Her walk would raise money for the cause they named STEPS 4 BILLY in a search for a cure for CTCL through Duke University Medical Center.
Roanoke.com has the story “Whatever Happened to… Alice Obenchain-Leeson..” HERE. The story is by Matt Chittum
The picture to the left was used in the story and shows Alice with one of Billy’s sons (Zach Obenchain) who is on the job here in Roanoke and assigned to Billy’s old house and shift .. #2-C.
Chief Billy will be honored at the 2011 Virginia Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on June 4th @ 12 noon. For more information on the service please visit Vafire.com
You can help the fight against CTCL and honor Billy’s memory by sending a check or money order, directly to:
The Duke CTCL Fund. C/O Dr. Elise Olsen (Steps 4 Billy) Box 3294 DUMC Durham, NC 27710
May you continue to Rest in Peace Chief !