Funeral services for William C. “Bill” Brubaker, 59, Lawrence, KS will be held 1:30 p.m. Monday, August 15, 2011 at Lawrence Free Methodist Church. Burial with full honors will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence. He died August 10, 2011 in St. Joseph, MO.
He was born on November 30, 1951 in Lawrence, KS, the son of Clark E. & Catherine Filkins Brubaker.
Bill Brubaker joined the Lawrence Fire Department on September 1, 1970. He was promoted to Captain in January, 1983 and then to Major in 1988. He retired on December 15, 2001. He was responsible for fire training, fourteen recruit academies and promotional assessments. His family had a long history with the fire department; their employment had been continuous since 1938.
After his retirement from the Lawrence Fire Department, he spent a short time working for Douglas County Emergency Preparedness. He joined the Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) family as the Northeast Regional Coordinator on December 5, 2005. Bill’s interview was held by phone because of his deployment to Hurricane Katrina response in Mississippi. He returned several times to Mississippi to instruct incident management to their State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the request of Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Although Bill’s primary responsibility was to the Northeast Region, his leadership and mentoring ability spread statewide. He claimed that everything he knew – he learned in kindergarten. He was an honest straight talker. He expressed exactly what he thought and he was deeply respected.
Bill received the Instructor of the Year Award from the Kansas Emergency Management Association in 2008. He received the Owen V. Turrentine Outstanding Emergency Management Professional Award for Kansas in 2010.
He was happiest when he was in the field working with his peers and helping people. He also knew the value of an emergency scenario exercise and was a Master Exercise Practitioner. He developed and delivered numerous exercises statewide. He led the State Deployable Resource Committee which includes; Search & Rescue Teams, Incident Management Teams, and the Law Enforcement working group. His innovative thoughts on deployable resources forever changed the State’s ability to respond and help community’s recovery from disasters.
One of Bill’s priorities was building a statewide Search & Rescue team for Kansas, and this lofty goal was achieved. He sacrificed countless personal hours in recruiting and developing not only team members, but securing sponsors and partners for funding and equipment. He was in the process of making preparations for the 4th annual Kansas Technical Rescue Conference in September. When his endeavor began, Kansas did not have any Search and Rescue Teams. As of today, Kansas has seven teams, one in each Homeland Security region and combined they make up Kansas Task Force One.
He was the force behind the development of the Incident Management Teams, and was one of the first team members deployed to support the Greensburg tornado response and recovery efforts and the 2007 Southeast Kansas flooding. His last days were spent in response to the Missouri River flooding.
Most of the emergency management and first responders in Kansas called him by the beloved nickname of “Fire Marshall Bill”. Though employed at the state level, he was a passionate advocate for local government and responders, and was their champion in all things emergency management and public safety. No one individual has done more to make Kansas a safer place to live than Bill Brubaker.
He was married to Denise Peery on December 3, 1983 in Lawrence, KS. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include a daughter, Stephanie Brubaker Morley, of Lawrence, KS, a son, William Clark “Will” Brubaker, of Miami, FL, his mother, Catherine Brubaker Evans, of Lawrence, KS, a brother, Bob Brubaker, of Lawrence, three sisters, Deborah Hobgood, of Kansas City, MO, Wanda Fulks, of Lawrence, KS, Tamara Guinn, of Lawrence, KS and a grandson, Kaden Morley. He was preceded in death by his father, and a sister, Kathy Meyers.
The family suggests memorials in his name to the Lawrence Humane Society, the American Heart Association, or to the American Red Cross and may be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.
The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday at the mortuary.