Community Honors Retired State Trooper
Posted at: 10/19/2013 3:49 PM
| Updated at: 10/20/2013 8:40 AM
By: Travis Dill
A wayside park sits beside Highway 2 in Iron River and community members dedicated it to 99-year-old Howard Fuhrmann on Saturday to honor his decades of service as a state trooper.
Fuhrmann started patrolling Wisconsin highways in 1943 as one of the first class of Wisconsin State Troopers. In fact, he was Patrolman #8.
Now, 70 years later his community renamed the park in his honor. The cold and rain on Saturday pushed the celebration into the local community center, but it couldn't spoil Fuhrmann's appreciation.
“I think that's really a good send-off. I appreciate that. That's very nice,” Fuhrman said.
Iron River Police Chief Scot Eisenhauer said officers respect Fuhrmann's service.
“I do look up to him. If you think back to the years that Howard was a patrolman on these highways it's quite an accomplishment, especially to be out there by yourself. Twenty, 25, 30 years working these highways, it's quite impressive,” Eisenhauer said.
But Fuhrmann was a little more humble about his career.
“It all started when they needed somebody and I volunteered. That's how it began,” Fuhrmann said.
Fuhrmann got to know everyone in the community as they learned to drive.
“In fact a lot of people got their driver's license from Howard. Back then you just went out with the trooper and he would approve your ability to drive,” Eisenhauer said.
Those residents said putting Fuhrmann's name on their beautiful park was an easy choice. “Amazing, just a wonderful thing. He deserveds every bit of it. I'm so happy for him and for the town,” Karen Collins said.
Collins was Fuhrmann's neighbor, and she said his generosity didn't stop when he took off the badge. Her husband never had to do yard work on Fuhrmann's watch.
“He went out and took his lawn mower out and started cutting. Pretty soon Howard comes walking over and he says, 'What's that thing?' He said, 'My lawn mower,' and Howard says, 'You don't do that I do this in this neighborhood. I take care of all these yards so put it away.' And it didn't come out again for the next 10 years,” Collins said.
But Fuhrmann moved into a retirement home since then so the community will now take care of the park in honor of his decades of service.