Chaplain of the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in The Villages
- Married to Kathy Lazenby for 44 years.
- Resident of the Village of Belle Aire since 2002.
- Born in Geneva, New York.
- Home town is Grand Island, New York.
- Main hobbies are golf and reading, mostly non-fiction.
- Has a collection of 300 unique writing pens.
- Household pet is “Gertie,” a Yorkshire-Maltese.
What motivated you to become the Chaplain? I have been involved in this field of fire and rescue for most of my life. Since moving to The Villages in 2002, I worked with the fire department in various capacities. During my work here, I felt called to serve Jesus Christ in a new capacity. In July of 2016, I was ordained as a deacon in the National Catholic Church. As chaplain, I am on-call 24/7 for my colleagues in need.
Why Fire/EMS? My mother was a registered nurse supervisor at the local hospital, and several firemen were her friends. She taught an occasional first aid course, and went on fire calls to provide on-scene aid for victims or firemen. I was at the same school in Grand Island, New York, for 33 years, but I also worked as a fire fighter/paramedic. All these experiences prepared me well to be a chaplain.
You display strong leadership skills. While in Grand Island, I trained Fire/EMS personnel in neighboring counties. I was the president of the teacher’s association, chairman of the English and social studies departments, and building administrator. I was on the town board of commissioners and also chairman of a charity in the community.
What do you like most about what you do? I enjoy being with others while providing comfort during stressful and trying times. Since I have experienced or seen most of what others may be going through, I believe I provide genuine understanding and help.
What other community services do you perform? I am in my fourth term as a supervisor in Community Development District No. 3, and a past-president of the Rotary Club. I work with Clean Kids Back Pack Program, where we provide hygiene products to children.
What is one word that describes you? Driven. When I make a commitment to accomplish something, I see it through.
What is your motto? Why join something if you can’t run it? This relates to my level of commitment, and my decision-making capabilities.
What are your greatest accomplishments? My marriage and being ordained.