Retired Deputy Fire Chief Landers to Be Buried Wednesday

Retired Haverhill Deputy Fire Chief John J. Landers.

Services, including Haverhill Fire Department Honors, for retired Haverhill Deputy Fire Chief John J. Landers, begin Wednesday morning at 9. Landers, 64, passed away peacefully Friday morning at his Haverhill home.

Appointed to the Haverhill Fire Department in September, 1976, Landers served as the tiller driver on Ladder 3 before being promoted to lieutenant in 1978. At 25 years old, he was both the youngest Lieutenant in Massachusetts Fire history as well as the quickest to achieve that rank. He was later promoted to captain and then deputy fire chief before retiring in 2002 at age 49. His career included being named Fire Fighter of the Year in 1983, for rescuing a disabled woman from a Kenoza Avenue house fire.

He was the son of James W. Landers and Cecilia C. Landers, both of whom predeceased him. He was a 1971 graduate of Central Catholic High School and graduated from Merrimack College with honors in 1975. He was the past president of the Ridge Runners Club in Haverhill and an avid boater. He lectured at and taught a number of courses at the Massachusetts Fire Academy and Salem State College, including Arson Investigation, EMT Instruction and Command Leadership. After his retirement from the Haverhill Fire Department he pursued a number of interests including NASCAR, where he served as an infield EMT for the Daytona 500. He also kept a number of homes in Daytona for the specific purpose of following racing. Additionally, he volunteered more than 5,000 hours at the Volusia County Maintenance Garage where he worked on, and transported, county vehicles. Later in his life, he built houses largely as a hobby. He held a Massachusetts Master Sprinkler’s License as well as construction supervisor’s license.

Landers is survived by his only daughter, Dana J. Zukas, who resides in Michigan with her husband Michael; brother Mark S. Landers and his wife Sheila of Haverhill, and their two sons Christopher J. Landers and his wife Kimberlee and Benjamin P. Landers; and close friends, Jay Davidowicz, whom he referred to as his brother, William O’Boyle and Robert Driscoll, someone who was both a friend and father to him. In his later years, his loving friendship with Robin Bragdon sustained and encouraged him.

Visiting hours are Tuesday, April 25, at Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 South Main St,, Haverhill, from 4 to 8 p.m. Services with Haverhill Fire Department Honors begins Wednesday morning in the funeral home at 9. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Sacred Hearts Church, 165 South Main St., Haverhill, at 10 a.m. Burial follows in the Haverhill Firefighters Section of Linwood Cemetery, Haverhill.

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