Kelowna firefighter honoured with public funeral service

Capt. Kolar died of lung cancer caused by his 29-year firefighting career

Firefighters and first responders from across the province gathered in Kelowna on Friday to honour the late Fire Capt. Joe Kolar.

Highly regarded by his peers, Kolar died of lung cancer on Oct. 31, which was caused by nearly 30 years as a firefighter. A public procession and a line of duty death ceremony was held at Tinity Baptist Church to mark his passing.

“The death of a firefighter is a community event, as well as a family event and we feel your pain and as a community we stand with you in that,” said Phil Collins, the fire department’s chaplain.

During the funeral, Kolar’s family received the Martin E. Pierce commemorative line-of-duty death medal, service medals, a flag, his fire helmet, and his uniform cap.

Kelowna Fire Department’s Chief Travis Whiting and Local 0953 president Troy Mamchur both spoke at the ceremony, before friends and family gave a tribute to the late firefighter.

“He was regarded as a great firefighter, a great listener, a great teammate, a great captain, and a great leader,” said Whiting.

“Joe was a captain, and a good one. He was a positive leader that made those around him better. We trade no firefighter. We’re down one and we refuse to lose another one. Let’s celebrate Joe and let’s use his positive approach as inspiration, as commitment to fitness, to training … let’s honour Joe by committing to keeping each other safe.”

Mamchur echoed his colleagues words.

“Joe was one of those people that many of us went to for advice. He always seemed wise beyond his years … I think his parenting advice is golden,” said Mamchur.

Kolar started working with the Kelowna Fire Department in 1991 before moving to a career position with the department in 1999. He was promoted as captain in July 2018. He was a member of the technical rescue team, specializing in tower and freight rescue, as well as water and confined space rescue.

Kolar’s daughters Ashley and Taylor also wrote a tribute to honour their father.

“We are so proud to have been raised by such a special man,” Taylor read.

“We may be biased but we think Joe had it all: handsome guy, cool nickname, healthy marriage, healthy relationships with his kids, a career that truly gave him purpose, a community of supportive brothers through all of life’s trials and tribulations, and more kindness and love packed into a man than any of us will comprehend.”

Kolar is survived by his wife Lisa, daughters Ashley and Taylor, son-in-law Brock and grandson.

READ MORE: Kelowna firefighter to be honoured with public funeral service

READ MORE: Woman wanted on Canada-wide warrant possibly in Kelowna area


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Kelowna seeking company to construct Highway 97 pedestrian overpass

The city budgeted $500,000 for the bridge’s design in its 2020 provisional budget

Rockets return home aiming to snap 6-game losing streak

Kelowns starts a three-game weekend against the Seattle Thunderbirds Friday night

New faces come to Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission in Kelowna

New committee manager, five new advisory council members recently named to commission

Nearly 6,000 children living in poverty throughout the Central Okanagan: report

A BC Child Poverty Report Card states that one in six children live in poverty

‘Latte-sipping urbanites’ need to realize value of mining in B.C., association head says

Industry generates a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service across the province

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

B.C. employer health tax wins ‘paperweight award’ for red tape

Businesses forced to estimate payroll, pay new tax quarterly

Construction activity in RDOS tops $48 million

Total of 527 building permits issued within Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen in 2019

VIDEO: Dashcam records near-miss by bad driver near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

RDOS budget videos available online

Budget must be completed by March 31

North Okanagan youth mental health services boosted by RBC

$50,000 grant gives youth greater access to services

Funding approved for conservation projects in South Okanagan and Similkameen

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen provides funds for nine projects

New U.S. LNG terminal near northwestern B.C. town proposed

AlaskCAN International LNG wants terminal just over Canadian border, but using B.C gas

Most Read