Longtime Pamplin chief dies

Published 5:37 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Dalton Elder, longtime Pamplin Volunteer Fire and EMS chief and lifelong area resident, died Saturday.

Elder, 70, served in the department for more than 50 years, and for nearly 33 of those years as chief.

A visitation held for family and friends took place Monday at the Pamplin Volunteer Fire Department building, and a funeral took place Tuesday at the department at 11 a.m., which had family, friends, co-firefighters and loved ones gathered around the place Elder dedicated his work and life.

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Barry Vanderveer, president of the Pamplin Volunteer Fire and EMS, said Elder was born in Madisonville, just 2 miles from Pamplin.

“He has been in the neighborhood all of his life,” Vanderveer said.

“He put the fire department first,” Vanderveer said. “He always did whatever we needed whenever we needed it, no matter what else he had going on.”

“He would do anything for anybody in the community, whether he knew them or not,” Vanderveer said.

Elder’s obituary cited that he performed extensive work in textile, serving at Pamplin Garment Factory, Appomattox Garment Factory, Star Children’s Dress in Amelia County and was working at STEPS in Farmville and Victoria before his death.

The obituary also cited that in early years he loved softball and was an umpire for the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA).

Vanderveer described Elder as diligent and service-oriented, someone who would often put other firefighters and the community before himself. He also said Elder had a knack for making friends out of strangers, leaving an impact on those he met.

“He’d make a friend out of anybody,” Vanderveer said. “If he met a stranger, if he’d sit there and talk to you long enough, he would be a friend before he left.”

“He’s going to be a hard person to replace,” Vanderveer said.