Yesterday, March 4th, 2009, The Salisbury Fire Department lost it's oldest member. Emerson Carlise "Corky" Philips answered his last alarm on earth and has passed to a greater world. Born on May 28th, 1918 Corky was just a little less than 3 months away form his 92nd birthday.
Many of you may remember I did a post on Corky back on April 7th, 2008 while he was residing at the John B. Parsons Home in Salisbury. One of the things Corky told me that day was:
"I was born on May 28, 1918. I was a premature baby and the doctors told my Mother not to get to attached to me "cause I weren't gonna be here long."
My guess is he probably has lived longer than the Doc that predicted his early demise. Corky was of slight stature but he had a heart as big as all oudoors.
On April 27th, 2008 the Salisbury Fire Dept. moved it's operations division to the new Sation 16 on Cypress St. in Salisbury. Cory was given the honor to ride from the old station to the new in the lead staff car and was additionally given the honor of raising the American Flag at the new station for the first time signifying it's opening for business. On August 21st, 2008 Corky was once again present for the grand opening of the Station 16 and was proud to perform the "Hose un-coupling" (equivalent to ribbon cutting) for the dedication of the station. This was a dual honor for Corky because the Grand Masonic Lodge of Maryland and the Grand Prince Hall Masonic Lodge of Md jointly performed the dedication ceremony and Corky is a 60+ year member of Wicomico Masonic Lodge # 91 here in Salisbury.
Corky also served in the U.S. Army and is a WWII veteran.
Corky was loved by all that knew him and in all the years I knew him I never heard an unkind word spoken by him. He was extremely dedicated to the SFD and fond memories of him will live forever in our hearts.
Farewell Corky! Rest in Peace my dear friend.