I knew Woody when I dated his daughter, back in in 1980 I think his grandson (Casey) may be my son. I would like to meet him and tell him how proud of his grandfather I am. He was a good man and I wish Casey could have known that I knew him. Casey if you ever read this, you are grown now and can make your own choices. I would like to meet you and take it from there. If you are curious call me at 317-697-6751.
It was the most painful thing I had ever experienced in my lifetime, and to date, still is. My Dad died saving others on February 5th, 1992. It was the night of his 5th grandsonâ€™s birthday. As sad as it has been for my family, and me, we appreciate that his loss was not in vain. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to light a fire under the suits.
We, to date, have many journals that Dad wrote expressing his concern for the safety of his comrades, and himself. One consistent line you can find throughout is, â€œToo many Chiefs and not enough Indians.â€
Dad always said that he would never get rich as a fireman, but he was working on his pension and a quiet retirement. He gave almost 23 years to IFD and nobody saw his pension, it just disappeared. He wasnâ€™t married and three of his four daughters were in their mid to late twenties. With the youngest daughter (Age 21) not attending college, nobody qualified.
Should it be that you are not married, check on your departmentâ€™s policy for disbursement of your pension in the event of your death. If your department does not ensure that your pension will go to your children or other family members when not married, no matter their age or station in life, then I hope this encourages you to fight for that which you have risked your life to earn. Find the support and backing of your comrades. Pressure your union or controlling officers to protect your life earnings.
May you be watched over, protected, and always go home.
In loving memory of Corporal Ellwood Milton Gelenius (age 47 at death), 23 years with the Indianapolis Fire Department, my Dad.
Life has not the same since you have been gone. May you rest in peace and you will always be my hero! I love you Dad!!