Chief Warren Bradford "Brad" Cummings, 68, of Fairbanks passed away peacefully at home in the presence of loved ones on January 3, 2017 after a 5-year battle with breast cancer.
Brad was born on December 20th, 1948 in Wheelwright, KY and lived a full, happy life surrounded by friends and family doing the things he loved. At the age of 10, he moved to Atikokan, Ontario, Canada, and later graduated from the Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg, WV as a Cadet First Lieutenant in 1967. In 1969 he was drafted for the Vietnam War out of Canada and served as a sergeant in the US Army Signal Corps, stationed in Fairbanks. Once discharged from the army, he attended a 6-month fire academy in Anchorage where he found his true passion in life. Upon finishing the training in 1972, he was hired by the Fairbanks Fire Department. In 1995 he was appointed to lead the Fire Department as Chief, where he served until retirement in 2015. Through his 43-year, 7-month tenure with the department, he oversaw millions in capital improvements through grants obtained at the federal and state level and served in various positions in the Alaska Fire Chiefs Association, the Western Fire Chiefs Associations, and the Alaska Fire Standards Council.
Along with his dedication to the fire community, Brad devoted much of his time to the Moose Fraternity. After joining in 1974, he served in various capacities on local, state and international levels. He most recently served as a member of the International Supreme Council beginning in 2009. His service with the Moose fraternity took him all over the United States where he enhanced the mission of the Moose Fraternity and spread the personal message about the importance of early breast cancer detection, for both men and women, through monthly self-exams.
Chief Cummings was well known for his kindness, generosity, and moral integrity. He will be profoundly missed by his family, friends and everyone in the Fairbanks community , who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Brad is survived by his wife of 23 years, Cathy; sons William Spairs, Owen Clyde and granddaughter Harper Clyde; daughters Amy Spairs, of Fairbanks, Carla Clyde and grandson Alex Wood of Fairbanks, Elizabeth Cummings and grandson Zayne Orin of Ketchikan, Christina Carlson, husband Sam, and granddaughter Bridget Carlson of Fairbanks; and brother Beaman Cummings, wife Pam, and Aunt Elizabeth Cummings of West Boylston, MA and Uncle Richard H. Cummings of Beverly Hills, MI. He is preceded in death by his parents, Waldo and Esther Cummings.
The family will will host a potluck celebration of life at 3 p.m. Saturday, January 7 for family and friends at the Fairbanks Moose Lodge. A ceremony dedicating the Fairbanks Fire Station Headquarters to Brad will be at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 11 and is open to the public.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Warren’s memory to the Breast Cancer Detection Center of Alaska, 1905 Cowles Street, Fairbanks, AK 99701 (bcdcofak.org) or Moose Charities, 155 S. International Drive, Mooseheart, IL 60539-1100 (moosecharities.org).