A Markham firefighter has died from what is identified as a duty-related illness.
Larry Pilkey died at his home Thursday with family at his side after a battle with brain cancer, a recognized illness under the Workers Safety Insurance Board Presumptive Legislation Act for firefighters.
Mr. Pilkey joined Markham Fire and Emergency Services in 1987 as a recruit firefighter and worked out of various Markham fire stations throughout his 25-year career. In October 2010, he had a seizure while at work and was later diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery in November.
Markham council offers its deepest condolences to Firefighter Larry Pilkeys family and friends, Mayor Frank Scarpitti in a media release. A dedicated Markham firefighter for his entire career, Larry Pilkey was an exemplary representative of our community and his absence will be felt by Markham Fire and Emergency Services and our community.
Its the second line-of-duty death of a Markham firefighter as the result of an occupational illness identified in the presumptive legislation, Chief Bill Snowball said. Larry was a valued colleague and a very dear friend. He never gave up hope that he would someday return to the fire hall and his beloved profession as a firefighter, and continued to fight his cancer to the end.
Mr. Pilkey most recently worked at the Unionville fire station. He was the type of person who was loved by all, Markham Professional Firefighters Association president Walter Brinston said. If you knew Larry you would like him, he said, adding Mr. Pilkey gained peoples respect and friendship through humour and natural leadership.
Mr. Pilkey leaves behind wife, Louise, and sons Luke and Jake.
Brother Pilkey of Markham Fire will be laid to rest on Monday October 31st at the Bridge Church in Markham at 1pm. It is located at 5440 16th Avenue, Markham.
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