HARTSDALE, N.Y. — The Hartsdale Fire District is grieving over the sudden loss of 48-year-old Deputy Chief Joseph Kelley, who died at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center on Wednesday.
Kelley checked himself into the Sleepy Hollow hospital Tuesday because he was feeling ill, according to Hartsdale Fire Chief Ed Rush. The cause of Kelley's death remains unknown.
Kelley, an Edgemont resident, was a member of the Hartsdale Fire District for 18 years and served as a Westchester County fire instructor. He began his fire service career 26 years ago as a firefighter for the city of Poughkeepsie.
Rush said he was shocked over the news about Kelley, especially after just talking to him on Tuesday night.
"We've worked together for almost 20 years. It's a real shock and a real tragedy," Rush said. "I've always said that if you think back on your retirement, the most important thing anybody could ever say about you was that you were a good fireman. And he was a good fireman."
Kelley is survived by his parents, Dale and Antoinette Kelley, of Hyde Park, N.Y., and by his brother, Dale, of Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
"He was known by all members that he encountered as a knowledgeable professional who was willing to share his immense knowledge of the fire service with those in his command and his students at the fire academy," according to a Hartsdale Fire District statement.
A wake for Kelley will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., on Jan. 29 at Sweet's Funeral Home, 4365 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park.
Funeral services will be held on Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. at Regina Coeli Church, 2 Harvey St. in Hyde Park.
Interment will follow the services at Saint Peter's Cemetery, 171 Salt Point Turnpike, Poughkeepsie.