Country Hills Fire Company Charter Member Dies
The former Route 202 resident was one of the original 61 members of the company.
A charter member of the Country Hills Fire Company died March 7 in New Hope.
Harry Naismyth was one of 61 people who signed the original charter for the fire department in 1953 and donated $10 to found the organization in November of that year, according to current company member Doug Rue.
“He was still on the roster until around the time my membership started, some 45 years ago in 1968," Rue said.
Rue said Naismyth—who spent much of his career working with what was then called the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company in Bridgewater for 43 years—was a resident of Route 202 around Charlotte Drive and Edgewood Terrace when he helped found the company.
“He served as chief of the department during 1956 and 1957 when the company was very busy purchasing its first apparatus and operated out of a temporary garage at the corner of Route 202 and Charlotte Drive, next to what is now Café Emilia,” Rue said.
At that time, Rue said, the company received a 1-acre donation of land on Milltown Road, and built its permanent firehouse.
“It has been its headquarters since completion in June of 1958,” he said.
Rue said Naismyth’s wife, Jeanne, was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary.
Born in Staten Island, Naismyth lived in Somerset County for many years before moving to New Hope in 1992, according to an obituary on phillyburbs.com.
Naismyth, according to the obituary, was a member of the Pop Kugler Somerset Wheelman bicycling club, and was the National Junior Cycling Champion for 1940.
Naismyth was a veteran of the United States Coast Guard in World War II, and served his country as a member of the Rescue Flotilla during the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944.
After the war, the obituary said, Naismyth continued to ride competitively and rode the Central States Men’s Senior Championship in 1946, and was inducted into the Somerville High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Naismyth is survived by his wife; son Scott and his wife Robin; a daughter, Sondra Bialy, and her husband, Greg; a sister, Mary Jean Steele; grandchildren Ryan, Ashley, Katie Naismyth, Kelly Capra, David Bialy and Krista Wentworth; four great-grandchildren; and niece Deborah Prusik; and nephews Edward and Thomas Oliver.
Visitation was held Monday at the Bruce C. VanArsdale Funeral Home in Somerville. A private internment was held in New Cemetery in Somerville.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at 400 Morris Avenue, Denville, NJ 07834.
Condolences can be left for the family by clicking here.