St. Catherine’s cancels Saturday 5 p.m. Mass for wake

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While Lawrence Pierce of Mendon spent his professional life as a safety engineer at Eastman Kodak, it was his involvement in the volunteer fire service that his impact will be felt for years to come.

Mr. Pierce, 66, passed away on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at his home.

A volunteer with the Mendon Fire Department for over 30 years, Mr. Pierce has served on its Board of Fire Commissioners since 1987, holding many different offices during that time. But, he was also known throughout the state for his work on behalf of the volunteer fire service. Mr. Pierce was an active member of the Monroe County Fire District Officers, rising to President from 2004 – 2005. He then moved on to become an officer of the NY State Fire District Officers Association, serving as President from 2008 – 2010. He held membership in the Fireman’s Association of the State of NY, International Fire Chiefs Association, NY State Fire Chiefs Association, NY State Fire Marshals Association, National Safety Council, Monroe County Fire Marshals Association, and National Fire Protection Association. He also served on the Board of Directors for the 911 Operating Practices and the Monroe County Fire and EMS.

Fire departments in the area have expressed their sadness at the news on their Facebook pages.

“It is with much regret that we learn of the passing of Lawrence Pierce, one of the Monroe County fire service leaders for many years and active firefighter at Mendon FD. Past President of the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York, and Past President of the Monroe County Fire District Officers Association,” the Rush Fire Department posted on its page.

The Honeoye Falls Fire Department picked up that post and put it on its Facebook page as well.

He had a deep love for the Mendon Fire Department and established its largest fund raiser and crowd pleaser at the Mendon Carnival, the beer tent.

Born in Rochester on May 30, 1953 to the late Milton and Martha (Hutton) Pierce, Mr. Pierce was a Hall of Fame football, basketball and baseball star at Greece Olympia High School and Iron Man Tri Athlete. He loved to do the impossible, his family said. He turned a 10 year life expectancy after his liver transplant into 25 years. He negotiated hospital passes with his IV still attached to take in a hockey game. At Christmas, he raced Go-Karts with his grandchildren while he was on hospice care. He defied all odds, refusing to allow his illness to stop him from living.

Professionally, Mr. Pierce spent 31 years at Eastman Kodak, retiring as a Safety Engineer. After retirement he worked as the Assistant Building Inspector and Fire Marshal for the Town of Mendon. He later became the Code Enforcement Officer and Fire Marshal for the Village of East Rochester. In addition to those roles, he used his expertise as a Certified Safety Professional to start his own Safety Consulting Company. In 2004, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Fire District Mutual Insurance Company, acting as Vice President from 2017 – 2020.

Mr. Pierce met every obstacle with a smile on his face, and a gritty determination to succeed.

After the transplant, Mr. Pierce and his wife of 47 years, Mary Ann, decided to see the world and live life to its fullest. A few of their many adventures include scuba diving in Australia, dog sledding in Alaska, sky diving in Aruba, mountain climbing in Sedona, boating down the Hudson, exploring the ruins in Rome, and walking the same path that Jesus walked in the Holy Land.

Family and relationships were Mr. Pierce’s top priority. He and his wife made a conscious effort to invest in their grandchildren (numbered in age order for easy headcounts on family trips). The “8 year old trip” was a special rite of passage for each child, where an individualized weekend was dedicated to their specific interests. Trips included NASCAR, NHL, Washington DC, Saratoga, NBC Studios, American Girl, the Macy’s Day Parade, the Intrepid and the Volvo Excavator Plant. Lawrence also made a point each Christmas to treat the entire family to limo rides, theatre, nice hotels and fancy meals, with the intention to enjoy the finer things in life with his family while he had the opportunity. Without saying much, he filled his grandkids with a lifetime of memories, values and life lessons in just a few short years.

Besides his parents, Mr. Pierce was predeceased by his beloved daughter, Kristine Pierce Brassie. Mr. Pierce is survived by his cherished wife of 47 years, Mary Ann (Camillaci) Pierce, son Lawrence (Christina) Pierce, son Daniel (fiancé Carrie Welch) Pierce, son-in-law David S. Brassie, brother William (Rhonda) Pierce, brother Jeff Pierce, grandchildren #1 Julia Pierce, #2 Chloe Brassie, #3 Larry Pierce, #4 David Brassie, #5 Mary Pierce, #6 Christopher Brassie, #7 Matthew Brassie, #8 Joseph Pierce, #9 Christopher Pierce, many special nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and Buddy his Cat.

Friends may call on Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 1-6 PM at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Mendon. His Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Sunday, February 2 at 1 PM followed by a reception from 3- 7 PM at Westminster in Mendon. Monetary donations can be made in his honor to St. Catherine’s Church, dedicated to Playground Fund. Please also consider visiting www.organdonor.gov to give the gift of life. Arrangements are by Merton H. Kays Funeral Home in Honeoye Falls.

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