Community mourns loss of longest serving Hudson firefighter

Community mourns loss of longest serving Hudson firefighter
The East Texas community is mourning a loss of one of their own. Four days ago the Hudson Volunteer Fire Department's longest serving volunteer firefighter passed away in Lufkin.

Since 1974, Gowland Bass, also known as Goldie has been serving the department. Those close to him say his legacy lives through his family and fellow firefighters.

Bass Wednesday at an area hospital. Those who served with him describe bass as a devoted and dedicated volunteer.

"Today's time we're busier and busier and so it's difficult to get volunteers, but when you have someone who has given 44 years of their life, that's pretty significant," said Caleb Ramsey, assistant fire chief, Hudson VFD.

Indeed Bass served not only with the Hudson VFD for nearly four decades but he was one of the original firefighters to join with the department when it was created.

"Wen he started they were using old military (units), they use to call them and since then, in the 44 years, he was here, you can see the change in the equipment, the training and many other things and he was integral in," Ramsey said.

Throughout his career, Bass was a certified peace officer, a scout leader and served as a fire marshal.

"He had to loved it. To put up with all the stuff, the good and the bad. Just can't imagine what that man saw in the 44 years. I mean you have to love it, the rush the camaraderie," said Rodney Ray, ride captain with the East Texas Patriot Guard.

That mutual trust and friendship left a lasting impression where more people are left feeling inspired to act on the call to serve.

"All these young guys that are running around here, all these cadets. A lot of them know him, Mr. Bass. And truth be known a lot of them got into firefighting because of Mr. Bass," Ray said.

Along with firefighters from Hudson Fire Department, firefighters from across Angelina County including Lufkin Fire Department firefighters were in attendance during the memorial service.

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