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Former Waterbury Fire Department member dies

A Bristol resident who served in the Waterbury Fire Department for 26 years and in the Navy for almost as long recently died.

According to his obituary, Joseph Bogdanski Jr. died. on May 8 at the age of 54.

“It is with incredible sadness and immense sorrow that Local 1339 announces the passing of Firefighter Joe Bogdanski, Rescue 9 B Shift,” the Waterbury Fire Fighters Association wrote on Facebook.

Calling hours are scheduled for Thursday, May 16 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at O’Brien Funeral Home in Bristol. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, May 17 at 10 a.m. at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, located at 74 W. Main St in Waterbury, immediately followed by military honors. The funeral will take place privately at a later date.

According to Bogdanski’s obituary, his greatest passion in life was his family.

“He loved his wife Sandy and daughter Sophie above all else. Even when he was serving his country or working at the firehouse, they were always on his mind. He was a wonderful father, husband and friend, and he will be forever missed by all who We were blessed to have known him,” the obituary said.

Bogdanski joined the fire department in 1998 and was gradually promoted to firefighter, becoming firefighter of the year in 2005 and 2008, the obituary said.

He had joined the Navy in 1988 after graduating from high school and served on active duty until 1995, during which time he was deployed in support of the Persian Gulf War, the obituary said.

After active duty, Joe was assigned to Reserve Supply Support Battalion, Expeditionary Logistical Support Group out of Norfolk, Virginia. According to the obituary, he was mobilized in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and again in 2007, deploying to Iraq with the Naval Seabees.

He retired from the Navy in 2012 after 24 years of service, having received numerous medals and ribbons, the obituary said.