Byard W. "Bill" Metcalf, 90: Portland firefighter who was dedicated to family
PORTLAND — Byard Winslow "Bill" Metcalf, 90, died Dec. 15.
Born in Lubec on Sept, 24, 1919, he was a son of Earl and Eudavilla Metcalf.
He grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, and later moved back to Maine.
During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Pennsylvania and was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in a battle off Okinawa.
In 1947, he began his 25-year career as a Portland firefighter, spending most of his career serving on the Portland Fire Boat.
During the 1950s and 60s, he was president of the Portland Fire Fighters Local 740 of the International Fire Fighters Union, and was instrumental in bringing the Barnum and Bailey circus to Portland to benefit Mercy Hospital and Maine Medical Center.
Over the years as a firefighter, he rescued many people and had many close calls, earning him the title of “the firefighter with nine lives.”
Following his retirement from the fire department, he spent 14 years as senior engineer with Moran Tug Company until he sustained serious injuries in a engine fire on the Patricia Moran. The firefighters aboard the Portland Fire Boat saved his life.
His life was filled with work and love of family. When his children were young, he worked three jobs simultaneously, leaving home on Monday mornings and returning on Friday evenings. He never complained of his work, because his entire focus was always upon his family and their well-being.
He was predeceased by his first wife of 39 years, Rowena, in 1978, and later by his second wife of 16 years, Lora, in 2002. He was also predeceased by two sisters and one brother.
Surviving are five children, Elizabeth Metcalf of Portland, Frederick Metcalf of Williamsburg, Va., Michael J. Metcalf of South Portland, Mary Jane Metcalf of Gorham, and Catherine Gagnon of Minot; 12 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
Visiting hours will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 20 at Hobb's Funeral Home, Cottage Road, South Portland. A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 21 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 673 Stevens Ave., Portland.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Portland Fire Museum, P.O. Box 1743, Portland, ME 04104, or to St. Brigid's School, 695 Stevens Ave., Portland, ME 04103.
Funeral arrangements are by Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland.