Funeral services held for longtime firefighter

PARKESBURG ­— Dozens of fire service vehicles took part in a funeral procession Wednesday honoring a late and beloved member of many Chester County fire companies.

Robert P. “Scats” Gathercole, 59, died last week while vacationing with his family in Maryland. Gathercole, who was the safety officer at the newly formed Keystone Valley Fire Company, joined the Westwood Fire Company when he was just 14 and served as the company’s chief from 1984 to 1988 and again from 1991 to 2000. He also served with Pomeroy, Modena and Washington Hose Fire Companies and was a member of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Chester County, according to his obituary.

Gathercole earned the nickname “Chief Hometown” for his dedication to the Coatesville-area fire companies. He also worked as a furnace operator for 40 years at the Arcelor Mittal Steel Co. in Coatesville. His wife and three children are also involved in Chester County’s tight-knit volunteer fire service community.

Funeral services were held for Gathercole Wednesday at the Gateway Grace Community Church in Sadsbury. He was later laid to rest at the Upper Octorara Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Gathercole’s memory to the Kingsway Independent Church, 55 Morris Ave. Coatesville, PA 19320.

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