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Condolence From: Marc deLeuze
Condolence: I guess it is really not too uncommon to realize how much a person has affected you until they pass away. Definitely the case for me in regards to the man, the legend, Joe Sires. I had “Mr. Sires” as a construction teacher in High School in the early-mid eighties; I thoroughly enjoyed the class and learned a lot from Mr. Sires about the world of construction and just how to “work”.

I graduated from high school and went off with the military to continue my gathering of construction knowledge with the Navy Seabees as a reservist. I came home from that training and went to work in construction; but also wanted to continue my education and maybe someday become a woodshop and or construction teacher.

In February of 1985, I joined the then San de Fuca Volunteer Fire Department. Who would I find there but Mr. Sires, in the position of Assistant Chief? I said “hi Mr. Sires” and he said “it’s Joe here” and I said “OK Mr. Sires!” It took a while for Mr. Sires to become Joe to me. When I was just starting out, I did not have the luxury of an academy to learn the basic firefighting skills. Then Chief Marv Korn said, “watch those guys, and do what they tell you to do and don’t do what they tell you not to do”. Those guys were: Joe Sires, Ralph Sires (brother), Tom Adelsberger, Harald Eaton, George Rector, and a few others. Well, my version of the academy must have worked; because I retired a few years ago with over 25 years of service.

As we all know, life is full of distractions and changes in our planned course of direction. I certainly had my fair share. As I mentioned earlier I had aspirations of teaching shop and or construction some day. Well, I finally graduated from WWU for teaching some 15 years after high school. Yes, many distractions, like construction for starters. The same year I graduated from Western I also open my own General Contracting company. I felt it would be easier to work one on one with customers as I substituted rather than have a boss in the middle of the mix. That was 19 years ago now. Eight years ago I got hired by Oak Harbor School District to teach Pre-Engineering full time. Not the position I really wanted but my foot was in the door. Last year Tom Mueller retired after teaching woodshop and construction for 40 years. I got the dubious honor of filling the shoes of both Joe and Tom.

I started this whole story with not knowing how much someone impacts your life until it’s too late. When I was in high school and even as a fellow firefighter Joe was guiding me so much more than I realized. Now I am in his shoes, trying my best to teach the next generation of construction workers and contractors. I can only hope to be as effective as my friend Joe was.
Friday November 02, 2018
Condolence From: Jay Reynolds
Condolence: I am proud to have known Joe. May he Rest In Peace.
Wednesday October 24, 2018