Donald FeherAugust 13, 1941 ~ June 3, 2021 (age 79)
Donald Robert Feher, age 79, of Fairview Heights, IL, born on August 13, 1941 in East St. Louis, IL died on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at his residence.
Don began his working life as a Plant Engineer at Missouri Research Labs. He served his community for 37 years beginning as a volunteer fire fighter in 1969 and continuing in 1989 when he became full time Fire Chief of the Fairview Heights Fire Department until his retirement in 2006. Upon his retirement, he remained active in the fire community by working part time at St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency. He served as a Board Member of the St. Clair County ETSB (911). He was a founding member of the St. Clair Special Emergency Services Association and served as chairman until earlier this year.
His dedication to the community and in support of fire service efforts continued to expand through the years. He served as chairman of the County Fire Chiefs Association and as a board member of the Illinois Fire Chief Association. He was on the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, Advisory Board for the Illinois Fire Marshal, was a member of the Illinois Fire Service Instructors, and chairman of the County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). He also served as a board member of STARRS (St. Louis Areas Regional Response System) and was chairman of the East-West Gateway HAZMAT network. He was awarded the Gateway Lifetime Public Service Award by that organization.
One of Don’s greatest sources of pride was following his grandchildren through their schools and other sporting events. He proudly upheld the Christmas Baking Day family tradition for the kids through their adulthoods. They all came over year after year to help Grandpa bake Hungarian pastries using his mother’s recipes. He loved hunting and fishing with his buddies. One of his greatest joys was his garden. He “farmed” a half-acre lot every summer of vegetables, fruits, and flowers and loved every minute of it. Every year, he supplied family, friends, and food pantries with produce from his garden.
While his roots were firmly in Southern Illinois, Don also grew to enjoy travel with his best friend and travel partner, his wife, Kathy. They visited all 50 states, many countries in Europe and Eastern Europe, Central America, Egypt, and China. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Don was preceded in death by his mother Barbara, nee Yurko, Feher; his father, Frank F. Feher; and his brother, Frank Ronald Feher.
Don is survived by his wife, Kathleen, nee Hellye, Feher with whom he celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary on May 28, 2021, and who he always introduced as his “young bride.” Together in Fairview Heights, they raised three children, all who survive, son James (Sandra) Feher of Des Peres, MO, daughter Jean (Richard) Maue of Smithton, IL, and son Steven Feher of Savannah, GA. Also surviving are grandchildren Sean, Savannah and Sienna Feher, Nolan and Elise Maue; his brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Pat Schmeder; and his nephew Ron Feher.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Clair Special Emergency Services Association (SCSESA) and will be accepted at Kassly Mortuary or online www.scsesa.org
Visitation will be held on Friday, June 11, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd., Fairview Heights, IL.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fairview Heights, IL with Father Jim Nall and Deacon Tom Powers officiating. Interment will be at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, IL.