William “Bill” Brubaker

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.

52 Condolences

  1. Glenda Sunter on August 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I have had the pleasure of working with Bill since he came on board in 2005. What a wonderful asset he was to our Northeast Region.

  2. Ray and Patty Wadkins on August 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Denise and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you in the loss of your loved one.

  3. Brenda Richardson on August 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    We are thinking of you and our thoughts and prayers are with you. Billy was an all around good guy.

  4. Lacey Dreyer-Laird on August 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I worked with Bill at KDEM from the time he started till Feb. 2007. Bill was a great teacher and a wonderful man. He will be greatly missed by everyone he touched. My thought and prayers are with your family.

  5. Terry and Patty Brubaker on August 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    We are thinking of you Billy, May you rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  6. Vicki Julian on August 11, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    My most heart felt sympathy to all of you. Bill was a great guy and his obituary is an excellent reminder of what kind of man Bill Brubaker was. You are in my prayers for peace during this difficult time.

  7. Don Haynes on August 12, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Sorry for your loss. I always looked forward to classes that Bill taught or attended. He was a great resource and one of the most outstanding persons I have had the pleasure to meet.

  8. Ellen Bottorff and family on August 12, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Dearest Denise, Will, and family,

    We are so sorry to hear about your loss. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Ellen Bottorff

  9. Ronald Claing on August 12, 2011 at 3:36 am

    I was the Instructor that qualified “Bill” with K.U. Fire Service Training and his start to many years of Bill helping others. He was an asset to Lawrence F.D. and the State Fire Training Programs. He was asked many times to either teach special classes or help in anyway he could to lift the professionalism of special training throughout Kansas. My deepest regrets go out to his family.

  10. Doyle and Kim Wasson on August 12, 2011 at 7:06 am

    We wanted to let you know that our thoughts are with you at this very sad time and we thinking about you all. It is never easy to lose someone you love dearly. If you need anything we are here.

  11. Nino Mendoza on August 12, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Bill was the Training Officer with the LFD back in 1989 during my academy and until I left in 2000. The thing I most remember was his sense of humor and his easy going attitude, always smiling.
    My best to his family.

  12. Larry Mallett on August 12, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Dear Denise,

    I was surprised and saddened to learn of Bill’s passing. I remember him fondly as he came into the office on many occasions. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. May His peace be with you.

    Larry Mallett

  13. Stephanie Moeller on August 12, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Bill was such a wonderful person. He will truly be missed.

  14. Bill Schneider-Fire Captain Olathe FD on August 12, 2011 at 9:41 am

    When Bill was getting ready to retire from Lawrence FD he once told me that his dream job was to work at a grocery store and be in charge of the dairy. “The milk must be kept on the shelves and I would be the perfect guy to check the dates on the jugs.” He opted for Emergency Management instead. Great choice for him and for us. He got me down to Biloxi for Katrina, and to Greensburgh, KS after the F5 tornado, and he helped equip and train responders across the state for our USAR Teams. He will be missed. We got it from here Fire Marshall Bill.
    R.I.P. brother…

  15. L'Tanya Christenberry on August 12, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Bill you will be missed. I learned so much from you. You always teased me about seeing a mouse run in my office I’m going to miss that. My prayers are with your family.

  16. Linda Finger on August 12, 2011 at 9:48 am

    My most heartfelt sympathy & prayers are extended to Bill’s family and close friends. I worked at city hall (1978-2005) and remember running into Bill in the lobby or on the elevator or waiting for a meeting in the 4th floor reception area. He was always gracious, friendly, and generally had a smile on his face for friend or stranger alike. He was a very special individual and Lawrence and Douglas County are better places because of Bill’s contributions to them.

  17. Major John Eichkorn on August 12, 2011 at 9:52 am

    You were a great friend and partner to the Kansas Highway Patrol. We will miss you Bill. God Bless you and your family.

  18. Terry Maple on August 12, 2011 at 9:58 am

    The men and women of the Office of the State Fire Marshal offer our deepest sympathies and condolences. Bill was a great public safety partner who will be missed by many.

  19. Keith Yoder on August 12, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Bill was a great friend, a mentor, a tireless advocate for people of all shapes and sizes. The first time I met Bill was on Labor Day weekend 2005 as we prepared to deploy to Mississippi in response to Hurricane Katrina. He used my cell phone to call in his interview from our hotel in Memphis, TN on the way back from Mississippi. On Bill’s last mission, he was instrumental in helping a community organize and save a town from what likely would have been a catastrophic flood. Right to the end Bill was doing what he did his entire adult life, helping others. Bill, all of us are going to miss you deeply and we are going to carry on the legacy of the programs and projects that you started and inspired throughout the state. You did it right and you made it to the end of the hallway. You can rest now my friend. See you later.

  20. Scott Hoch, Lenexa Fire Department on August 12, 2011 at 10:26 am

    My sincere condolences to Denise, Stephanie & William. I have several fond memories of Bill’s sense of humor and professionalism in working with him and the Lawrence Fire Department several years. I always looked forward to seeing him. He will be missed. Bill and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  21. Oscar Thomasson on August 12, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Bill was a great man and trusted colleague. He will be missed.

  22. Todd Miles on August 12, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Denise, we are so sorry about your lose. Bill was a good man and a very good friend to all of us. You and your family are in our prayers.

    Todd, Kim and Kamree Miles

  23. Rick Deibert on August 12, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I always asociated Bill with Lawrence Fire department and had the chance to work with him on Rescue programs in the last few years. He will truly be missed. My condolences to his family.

  24. Kathy Guy on August 12, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I am so very sorry for the loss of such a great teacher, mentor and genuine person as Bill Brubaker. He may have learned everything he needed to know from kindergarten, but many of us learned everything we need to know about Emergency Management from Bill. God bless his family and friends.

  25. Mike Keating - Ft Riley Fire Dept on August 12, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Denise, Stephanie, & Will – Our prayers are with you and the rest of the family. Bill touched the hearts and lives of more people than anyone will ever know. He will be missed. He was a great man, and I feel blessed for having known him.

  26. Art on August 12, 2011 at 11:59 am

    …gonna miss you at lunch.

  27. Terry Wallace on August 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I was surprised and very saddened to learn of Bill’s passing. He was a good man. I worked with Bill to help promote US&R in Kansas. He understood the critical need to help in a timely manner those affected by disaster. He will be sorely missed.

  28. Sherry Massey on August 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Bill was a good trainer and a good man. He will be missed.

  29. Margaret Carter (MEMA Training Directo - Retired) on August 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Bill was a very knowledgeable man on many things – fire, emergency management, incident command and IM teams, and EMAC. He will be greatly missed in the Emergency Management world! My family’s thoughts and prayers are with you today.

  30. Tim Lynch on August 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    As the Chair of the Kansas City Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee (MEMC) of the Mid-America Regional Council, and on behalf of the entire Committee, we wish to share our condolences with Bill’s family and the KDEM staff. His passing earlier this week sent a shock wave through the emergency management community.

    I and members of our Committee have had the privilege to work with and communicate with Bill on a number of occasions. Bill participated and attended the EMI Master Exercise Practioner course with several of us from the metro. We were proud to be a “MEPPER” alongside Bill.

    I know he was a key member of the KDEM team and specifically to the Northeast Region and the development of the IMT concept and other initiatives are a tribute to his dedication to serving others and helping Kansas prepare for homeland security related challenges. His contributions to Emergency Management within Kansas and the Northeast Region will be missed.

    On behalf of the MEMC, our sincere condolences go out to Bill’s family!

    Tim Lynch, Chair

  31. Shari Meyer on August 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    We will miss you Bill. Reading all of the wonderful messages and all you have done in your life is just amazing. Praying it will bring peace and comfort to our family. You will never be forgotten.

  32. Kimberly Skillman-Robrahn on August 12, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    As much as the loss of Bill saddens me, I am truly grateful to have had the honor of knowing him, learning from him and working with him!!! True servants, such as Bill, are sometimes hard to find….and he certainly set the service bar high! On behalf of Coffey County, KS, and our citizens, I Thank You Sir! Rest in Peace!

  33. Chief Bill Walker, Retired on August 13, 2011 at 8:22 am

    How does one express how the loss of Bill affects so many lives that he has touched through-out his life and career. It has been my honor to have worked along side, learned from received praise from and shared private moments with. You will be missed my friend.

  34. Linda Maxey on August 13, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Dear Denise,

    I am so sorry to hear about Bill. What an impressive career he had helping others. He will be missed by many people.

    We are in Michigan for a couple of months. Please tell Will that I’m thinking of all of you during this difficult time.


  35. Randy Hill-Leawood Fire Department on August 13, 2011 at 10:21 am

    No matter which disaster over the last 6 years, in Kansas or on the gulf coast, Bill was usually the first person I saw. It was always nice to see that friendly face with his experience and demeanor. Then he’d usually raze me about staying in the Command Post, something I didn’t mind because I knew how tough it was for him. Because of Bill’s support for KS Search & Rescue, we’ve come a long ways over those years. But as Bill always said, “we have a ways to go” so I know he’ll be watching from upstairs. We will honor his memory by continuing the efforts he championed. Bill, rest in peace my friend.

  36. Dave Dunagan on August 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    My sincere condolences to the family. I learned much from Bill and he will be missed at the CP.

  37. Charlie Curtiss on August 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    We would like to express our condolences to Bill’s family. He was a dedicated worker and also a good friend to all those that knew him. God Speed, Bill. The Curtiss Family (Oma Lee, Donnie & Charlie)

  38. Susie Whitaker on August 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Denise, Will, Stephanie, Kaden and the rest of the Brubaker family – we are so very sorry for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.

  39. Wayne Harder on August 13, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Bill was one of those guys that made you want to be better at what you do. I took something away from every class and I consider myself fortunate to have met him. My sincere condolences to his immediate and extended family.

  40. Julie Hedges on August 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Dear Denise & Family-I was so sad to hear of Bill’s passing. He was such a good person. He will be greatly missed. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  41. Jim and Sue DuBois on August 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    We will definately keep you in our prayers.

  42. Kathy Gregory on August 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Bill’s death is not only a loss to his whole (huge) family, but also a loss to the city of Lawrence, the state of Kansas, and all those who knew him and who benefited from his hard work. I don’t doubt he’s organizing things in heaven right now. Let me know if there is anything you need.

  43. Peggy Rogers Lindquist on August 14, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Billy, my friend, may you rest in peace.

  44. Jeanne Dagenette on August 15, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Bill, your knowledge and spunk are unparalled. God must have decided he needed you for another purpose…or to help out somewhere else.

  45. Doug McKinney on August 15, 2011 at 7:59 am

    The North Central Regional Planning Commission as fiscal agents for the Northeast Homeland Security Council expresses its sincere sympathies to family and co-workers of Bill. He was very helpful to all he encountered for many years.

  46. Jim Schmidt, Butler County EMA on August 15, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I want to thank Bill’s family for sharing a wonderful guy with us. The hours he spent away from his family helping us deal with disasters and in training can never be replaced. But rest assured those hours were not wasted, someones life was made better perhaps someones life will be saved because he cared. Thank you for your sacrifice I know his family and his extended family dearly miss him.

  47. Ginny Hedges on August 15, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Denise and family,
    Rich and I were so saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. You should be so proud of his work. He helped so many people in his lifetime. May your wonderful memories of Bill help you get through this difficult time.

  48. Travis L. Vaughn on August 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I met Bill at KCI airport as he was on his way to the EMI and I was on the way to the NFA at the same campus in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He was gracious enough to let me hitch a ride from BWI to the campus in his rental car. Had several interactions in Emergency Management functions over last several years. Greatly respected man for his years of public service in fire and emergency management. A true public servant. Thank you to his family for sharing him with us. Prayers and thoughts for you to find comfort during this time. God Bless! Rest In peace Chief Brunaker!

  49. Chuck Vest on August 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Bill was my mentor , instructor and fellow trainer . He was one of the most wonderful people I have ever met . It was a pleasure to be able to work with him in Greensburg and the 2007 flood in Montgomery County. KDEM will fill his position , but they will never be able to replace Bill . May GOD Bless and Comfort his friends and family as we share this great loss with them .

  50. City of Baldwin City Fire dept on August 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    All of the Firefighter’s will miss Bill,He has helped many Douglas County Vol and paid Departments, to get started and moving a head with New ways of Firefighting,Training
    He will be missed by Baldwin City Fire Dept. a FRIEND and FIREFIGHTER


  51. Mike Price on August 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

    What a shock. Just saw Bill at the reunion. School, baseball and LFD, known him my whole life. Great friend, person and always a professional. I will miss him. My condolences to his family and those that called him friend.

  52. Steven L. Granzow on August 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    He was a good man. I knew him from working with Kansas Homeland Security while I was a regional hospital preparedness coordinator. He worked tirelessly to better prepare are region and our state for both natural and man-made disasters.

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