Ron Bowers was smiling a whole lot at his retirement luncheon Friday, a barbecue visitors could smell in the New Street headquarters bay downstairs.
Bowers joined the Danbury Fire Department on July 8, 1985 after working for two years as a Bethel police officer.
"I did exactly 27 years, to the day," Bowers said. Bowers, 50, graduated in the Danbury High School class of '79.
"When he worked in Bethel, he tried to write a speeding ticket one day, but he couldn't. He didn't have the heart to be a police officer," said Kyle Houser, fire fighter. "He is an all-around nice guy."
"He's the kind of guy you don't want to see retire," said Fire Fighter Joe Kovalsky. "We've had a lot of great fire fighters retire in the last few years. Don't get me wrong. We're happy for him. He's young, he's got kids, he's happy, but we don't want to see him go."
Bowers is moving his family from their New Milford home (already sold it) to Cumming, GA., where they already bought a home. It's part of an association with pool, and Bowers said the school system is good.
"That was important for us," Bowers said.
Houser said when you're riding in a fire engine with Bowers, it's impossible to be in a bad mood. "He lifts your morale. You get to laughing. You can't be in a bad mood around him," Houser said.
Retired Fire Assistant Chief Bob Keenan, one of Bowers' former shift commanders, said, "He was nothing but a great help. I worked with him for 27 years."