May 23,1938 - November 22, 2009 


William Edward Hofstetter,                           volunteer fire chief

ALEXANDRIA - News of William Edward Hofstetter's death was broadcast on police and fire radios across Campbell County on Sunday. On Wednesday, as he is laid to rest, the last call for the former Southern Campbell Volunteer Fire Department chief will go out over the radio.

Hofstetter helped found the department in 1959 and for the next 50 years worked to keep the people of Campbell County safe.

"My Dad was always a helper, he always wanted to help somebody," said his son Bill Hofstetter Jr. "That's how he was." William Hofstetter, 71, died at St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas.

He became chief of the department in 1966, and remained chief for 17 years. He also helped build the department's first fire station and helped form the fire taxing district that funds the department. In the late 1970s, Hofstetter served on the Northern Kentucky Emergency Medical Services Board.

After he left the fire department, he was appointed to the Campbell County Police Merit Board. He served on the board for 24 years.

Hofstetter grew up in Ohio and graduated as salutatorian from Western Hills High School. After serving in the Navy from 1955 to 1961, he moved the Campbell County where his family a farm. There he met his wife Doris.The couple celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary in October.

They also served on the fire department together; Hofstetter as chief, and his wife was an EMT. The couple also instilled a love of service in their children.

Bill Hofstetter Jr. also served as chief of the Southern Campbell Department for five years, his brother was a fire captain and one his sister is a paramedic.

"My dad, my mom, my sister, my brother and I were all EMTs and ran the life squad for the fire department," Hofstetter said.

When the Beverly Hills Supper Club burned in 1977, William Hofstetter and his wife worked side by side trying to save the fire victims.

Hofstetter's his full-time job was as a title and marble setter. He was secretary of Ohio Bricklayer's local 18. After he retired he used his skills to help build memorials across Northern Kentucky, including a Korean War memorial in Covington, a firefighter's memorial at the Peace Bell in Newport and a memorial for the city of Alexandria.

He also laid brick pavers at Southern Campbell County Fire Department's new station on Race Track Road.

Hofstetter also restored two family cemeteries, one in West Virginia and one in Butler, by resetting and cleaning the stones, his son said.

Diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2001, Hofstetter liked to keep busy in order to keep up his ability to move, his son said."He never slept in in the morning. He was an early bird," Hofstetter said. "You get up and you do things."

Until last month, Hofstetter was able to drive. Just days before his death he was diagnosed with bone cancer, his son said. He died Nov. 22, exactly 29 years after his father.

On Wednesday, a 1945 pumper truck will take Hofstetter's casket to Alexandria Cemetery. The Park Hills pumper once belonged to the Southern Campbell department. Two aerial trucks will form a gateway to the cemetery; other fire trucks will line U.S. 27. The Campbell County Police honor guard will escort his casket to his grave.

Survivors also include son Fredrick Hofstetter, of Alexandria; daughters, Barbara Bell of Alexandria, Anita Gindling of Sunman, Ind., and Angela Heck of Cold Spring; brothers, Robert Hofstetter and Edward Hofstetter, both of Alexandria; sisters, Carolyn Hellmann of Taylor Mill and Marilyn Gilbert of Covington; 15 grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

Services at 11 a.m. today at Cooper Funeral Home, Alexandria. Burial will be in Alexandria Cemetery.

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