In memory of former Federal Way fire chief Bob Hash

Bob Hash - Courtesy image
Bob Hash
— image credit: Courtesy image

Longtime firefighter and former Federal Way fire chief Bob Hash died on Dec. 31, 2009. He was 75 years old.

He is survived by his wife, Pat; two brothers Wally Hash and John Hash; his daughters Crystal Halverson and Leslie McCoy; and his two sons, Bill Hash and Ray Hash. He is also survived by step-daughter Debra Hickman and step-children Don Wilmoth Jr. and Aaron Wilmoth. Bob Hash had 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Chief Hash began as a volunteer firefighter with the Federal Way Fire Department in 1959. He was hired as a full-time firefighter in 1967, and worked his way up to deputy chief in 1977. He served briefly as interim chief before becoming fire chief in 1990. He retired in 1992.

“His passion for the fire service during his career and extending into retirement really says a lot about Bob,” South King Fire and Rescue Chief Al Church said.

Chief Hash oversaw the buildings of fire stations 62, 61 and 64 during the late 1970s and 1980s.

He was very active on the state level in the Washington Fire Chiefs Association and continued that high level of involvement in retirement as chairman of the retired chiefs section of the State Chief's Association.

The Washington Fire Chiefs said in an e-mail: "He was a vital part of the fire service and will be missed."

Hash's former colleagues described him as a stickler for the details. Being dressed professionally and in good order were very important to Hash, and that included his stations and his men and women.

He was a great supporter of aerial ladders in the fire service, and spearheaded the movement to buy the department's second (and current) ladder truck during his deputy chief days.

However, he also had a sense of humor and liked the occasional practical joke in the fire house.

On a memorial page dedicated to him, family and friends recalled how after retirement, he took up woodworking as a hobby and quickly became a master, creating beautiful tables and jewelry boxes.

He was involved for many years with the Kiwanis and the Elks, along with other clubs and organizations. His family said he seemed even busier in his retired life than before.

A memorial service was held on Friday, Jan. 8, at the Bethel Christian Center, 414 SW 312th St.,

Federal Way. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that charitable donations be made to the North Star Lodge Cancer Care Services, Kiwanis or South King Fire and Rescue in the name of Bob Hash. To learn more, call (253) 946-7337.

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