Vaden Queen, center, with Buckhannon Fire Chief JB Kimble, left, and Mayor Robbie Skinner.

City recognizes retired volunteer firefighter and department chaplain Vaden Queen on Friendly Way Day

BUCKHANNON – Retired volunteer firefighter and department chaplain Vaden Queen was recognized during the 2023 Friendly Way Day celebration.

Friendly Way Day came about in 2007 when the Buckhannon City Council named the street in front of the Public Safety Complex “Friendly Way” in honor of former Fire Chief Carl R. “Bud” “Ole Friendly” Bennett. City officials also decided to make “Friendly Way Day” an annual opportunity to honor other members of the Buckhannon Fire Department.

Buckhannon Fire Chief JB Kimble listed the ways this year’s honoree, Queen, has served his community and country throughout his life.

“This is Friendly Way Day, which we’ve been doing for several years now for past members and contributors to our organization and our community,” Kimble said. “Today, we have a special person, and I want to do a little talk about the difference in lifestyles between today and yesterday. I want you to think about this: Vaden spent four years plus in the Marine Corps, serving our country, then he spent 12 years at Warren District Fire Department and spent 30-plus years at the Buckhannon Fire Department. If you do the math, that’s 42, 43 years of his life serving our country and our community.”

Kimble said finding volunteers has been a struggle in recent years.

“Nowadays, as we all know, the volunteer community is not common as it used to be,” he said. “There aren’t many people doing that, and when you have a person who has spent the majority of his life serving his community and his country, that’s a big deal. We spent a lot of time at the old firehouse back in the day; we saw a lot of fires back in the day. It was a good time to train together, and just like today, we were a big family — that’s what a firehouse typically is. I want to thank you.”

Buckhannon Mayor Robbie Skinner also read a proclamation officially recognizing Queen as this year’s honoree and recalling previous honorees as well.

Mayor’s Proclamation

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Buckhannon resolved in 2007 to honor the memory of longtime Fire Chief, Carl R. “Bud,” “Ole Friendly” Bennett, by naming and dedicating the street in front of the truck bay of our City of Buckhannon Fire Department now known as “Friendly Way”; and,

WHEREAS, Council further resolved to honor members of our Fire Department family who have contributed to the high quality of life enjoyed by our residents, while embodying the essence of our “friendly way” as part of their public service to our community during a celebration as part of our annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival to be known as “Friendly Way Day”; and,

WHEREAS, our past honorees have been as follows: “Bud” Bennett in 2007, Harley Brown in 2008, Buddy Ray Zickefoose in 2009, Paul Mackey in 2010, Jack Ford in 2011, Larry Mackey in 2012, Jerry Wilfong in 2013, Wyatt Long in 2014, Dave Long in 2015, Kevin Goodwin in 2016, Charlie Shaffer in 2017, Paul Morrison in 2018; Joe Bennett in 2019, Steve Thacker in 2021, and Steve Long in 2022; and,

WHEREAS, we are privileged to honor and celebrate the life and many contributions of VADEN QUEEN, who served our City of Buckhannon Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and department chaplain. Vaden began his service first with the Warren District Volunteer Fire Department in 1978. He joined the ranks of the Buckhannon Volunteer Fire Department in the 1990’s, and was active until his retirement from the organization in 2020. In addition to firefighting, Vaden has been an integral part of taking care of our community’s loved ones with the St. Clair family at Poling-St. Clair Funeral Home. Most importantly, Vaden served our country in the United States Marine Corps from 1973 to 1977.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ROBERT NEAL SKINNER, III, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BUCKHANNON, pursuant to the power and authority vested in me, hereby proclaim Friday, May 19, 2023, to be “FRIENDLY WAY DAY” throughout our City of Buckhannon. I further proclaim that our City’s 2023 honoree shall be VADEN QUEEN. Furthermore, I hereby direct the installation of a permanent placard upon both the “Red Wall” and the “Buddy Bench,” located along Friendly Way to forever honor and recognize VADEN QUEEN.

I urge all residents and Festival visitors alike to join Buckhannon’s most honored citizen today, VADEN QUEEN, along with members of his Fire Department, family and friends, at our 16th annual ceremony. May every Firemen’s Parade Day during our annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival now and forever be known as “Friendly Way Day” in honor and memory of our late, and beloved Fire Chief, Carl R. “Bud,” “Ole Friendly” Bennett. May it also pay tribute to the public service and substantial contributors to our community to gentlemen such as our 2023 honoree: VADEN QUEEN.

News Feed

Subscribe to remove popups, or just enjoy this free story and support our local businesses!