The Jefferson Township Fire Department's Milton Company #1 has lost a member of its family.
Paul S. Schaller, who lived in Oak Ridge, died from lung cancer Aug. 20, his wife Michelle Schaller confirmed to Patch. He was 47 years old.
Milton native Schaller started his service with Milton Co. #1 as a teenager and ended up a 29-year veteran. His wife said he took great pride in being a second-generation firefighter and the son of the late firefighter and three-time Chief Paul E. Schaller.
A remembrance on the fire company's website recalls the younger Schaller as "a firehouse kid" who "always wanted to be involved in helping others and especially following in the footsteps of his father."
"Paul has always put his life on the line for people who he knew he would never meet," the piece continues. "He sacrificed time with his family and his own personal interests just as all the other firefighters do day in and day out. As a second generation firefighter Paul loved his job very much, [and] his family supported him with every sacrifice he made for it."
Schaller also worked as a shop technician at Moretrench of America in Rockaway Borough.
Michelle Schaller said her husband worked up until he learned of his stage three lung cancer diagnosis on Aug. 7. Despite the Schallers' confidence that the disease was beatable, it took hold of him fast and hard, causing pneumonia and kidney failure until he succumbed Aug. 20.
Following services in Newfoundland, which were attended by firefighters from across the region who came to pay respects, Schaller went home to Milton Cemetery.
"Paul was the first baby born in an ambulance in town on Milton Road," said his wife. "He also grew up on Milton Road and has been laid to rest there."
She urged residents to be aware of the symptoms of lung cancer and advised those experiencing symptoms to ask for a chest x-ray to increase chances of catching the deadly disease as early as possible.
Memorial donations may be made in Paul S. Schaller's name to the Jefferson Township Fire Department, Milton Co #1, PO Box 487, Oak Ridge, NJ 07438.