Wayzata mourns the loss of Tony Feser

Tony Feser, was a Wayzata Firefighter from 1935-1978. Photo Dan Gustafson.

Longtime resident and firefighter for the City of Wayzata Tony Feser passed away June 6, 2011 while gardening.  He was 98 years old.

While his official obituary will be published shortly here on Wayzata.com, Wayzata residents and friends needed to be notified more quickly.  As a result, I asked Wayzata Fire Chief Kevin Klapprich to stop by my office this morning to share some of his memories of Tony.  Here is what Chief Klapprich had to say:

Tony joined the Fire Department in 1935 and retired in 1978.  He had 43 years of service to Wayzata and the surrounding area.  Tony thought the world of the Fire Department.  What was neat about Tony is that he would drive by the station when there was a fire call with a whole bunch of cars out there, and Tony wasn’t afraid to park in the parking lot, come in, stand around, and talk with all of us.  He was always pro-fire department.  He still came to fires, long after he was retired.  

Wayzata Fire Department 1950. Photo Dan Gustafson.

He drove me to a fire one day.  A house fire.  I had just got on the fire department, probably my first six months, about 1978.  He had retired in May of 1978, and in those days, there weren’t any automatic transmissions in our fire trucks. There was an art to driving those trucks.  I was working in Long Lake, and was the last one to the fire hall.  The first engine was gone, the rescue truck was gone, and I’m the only one here.  All of a sudden I turned around, and there was Tony Feser, and I said, ‘Tony can you drive me up there?’ and he says, ‘You betcha!’  We got in a truck, drove up to the fire, and we laid lines for a water supply for the other truck.  That is what I remember, him driving me to the fire.

There were many of those calls where he would be outside working in his garden, and if he heard the siren go off he would know that there was a fire call.  A lot of times if the alarm went off again within a couple of minutes, that signaled that it was a real fire and not just some alarm.  He would come up to the fire station, and wherever he could help, he was there.  

I remember one day he rode in our tanker to a couple of different fires with my brother Cookie (Klapprich) driving.  We had three calls going at once, and he would ride with Cookie.  That’s probably 10 to 15 years ago.  He was quite the guy.

I used to plow his driveway.  I don’t remember what the deal was, if he had a stoke, or he had something happen to him.  He went to the hospital for a day or two, and so Greg Rye calls me up and says ‘Tony isn’t supposed to be shoveling snow. Can you plow his driveway and scoop his walk?’ I said yeah, yeah.  I remember, if I wanted to beat Tony to shoveling his walk, I had to be up pretty early.  I think he was up by 4 am every morning.  Half the time he beat me.  He’s not supposed to be shoveling the snow, and it would be all done when I would get there.

He was pro fire department.  He was one of those really nice guys.

Stay tuned to Wayzata.com for the official Obituary notice from David Lee Funeral Home, to be released shortly. In the meantime, here are some of the details for his funeral:

  • Mass of Christian Burial 11 AM Monday, June 13, 2011 at the Church of St. Bartholomew, 630 E. Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata. 
  • Visitation 5-7 PM Sunday AT THE CHURCH with prayer service at 7 PM and one hour prior to Mass at church. 
  • Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

David Lee Funeral Home
Wayzata 952-473-5577

2 responses to “Wayzata mourns the loss of Tony Feser”

  1. Rest In Peace Tony. Keep an eye out for fires up there, we wouldnt' want \”You Know Who\” getting in. You had a nice long run and in your own home. You will be greatly missed and remembered with much fondness.

  2. Every morning I unlock the doors at Maggies I will think back on the 31 years of coffee and conversations Tony had with my father and me. You will be missed.Scott Homan owner Maggie's Restaurant

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