In Memoriam: James Firmstone of Firmstone Lakewood Fuels


It is with great sadness to share the passing of James Firmstone who was a previous PPA Board of Director and owner of Firmstone Lakewood Fuels in Honesdale, PA. The PPA extends its deepest condolences to the entire Firmstone family. James’s obituary can be found here and is also included below.

James G. Firmstone, aged 81 of Honesdale PA, died Sunday, November 26, 2023, at Wayne Memorial Hospice after a brief illness. Jim is survived by his wife of 59 years, Shirley (Garing) Firmstone.

Born May 7, 1942, at the then progressive birthing home above Bullock’s Grocery Store in Honesdale, to the late George Firmstone and Edith (Howell) Firmstone. This birthing facility was located directly across Main Street from the family’s service station. Jim liked to say he was born on the east side of Main Street and didn’t get any further than the opposite side of the street. But the truth is he lived a full life that took him far and wide.

Jim graduated from Honesdale High School with the class of 1960, and continued his education at SUNY Morrisville, where he received his degree in Automotive Technology. After finishing his formal education, Jim married his high school sweetheart, and the couple started a family. After the passing of his father George, Jim joined his brother John in managing the family’s petroleum distribution business, Firmstone Oil Company.

Hunting, Fishing and Golfing were among his passions. Jim was a member of The Welcome Lake Rod and Gun Club and the Honesdale Golf Club. He fondly remembered fishing trips to Henderson Harbor, NY with his sons Steven, Ronald and his grandson Landon, and earlier trips to the Thousand Islands with friends and their children.

Throughout the years Jim enjoyed an active life including snow skiing, water skiing, snowmobiling, scuba diving, and attending professional baseball games and Penn State Football games. Many of those pleasures were passed on to his children and grandson. He “endured” a friendly football rivalry between his New York Giants and his grandson’s misaligned devotion towards the Dallas Cowboys.

A highlight of Jim’s life was the countless summer days spent at the family cottage on Elk Lake (near Waymart) where he enjoyed leisure time with his many friends and extended family that included his cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Jim would often be seen walking Main Street in his beloved hometown, making daily trips to the post office and bank. He loved to visit with customers at his family’s gas station.

In the 1980’s and into the 90’s Jim served as Vice-President of The Honesdale Borough Council. During this time, Jim worked on the committee to help create passenger train rail excursions on the Stourbridge Line. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge Number 218 in Honesdale, and for many years helped organize an annual golf tournament to raise funds for the Shriners Children’s Hospital.

Jim was also a member of many organizations including Protection Engine Company #3, the Honesdale Area Jaycees, the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, the Honesdale Zoning Board, the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association, the Irem Temple, and he served as President of the Wayne-Pike Shrine Club.

On Sundays Jim attended the Honesdale Christadelphian Chapel and enjoyed afternoon car rides with his wife and daughter Lisa, admiring the beauty of Wayne County while visiting family and friends.

In addition to his wife Shirley, Jim is survived by a loving family including his two sons, Steven G. Firmstone and his wife Michelle, Ronald J. Firmstone and his wife Karen, daughter Lisa B. Firmstone, his grandson Landon J. Firmstone, and his sister Elizabeth “Betsy” Hattersley, all of Wayne County.

He was preceded in death by his brother, John A. Firmstone.

The family would like to thank the entire staff at Wayne Memorial Hospital, especially those in Security, Emergency Care, Intensive Care and Hospice for their incredible attention and compassion during their time of need. God shows his love through each one of them. For this, they are grateful.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at 11 am in the Wesley Room of the Central United Methodist Church, 205 11th Street, Honesdale with the Revs Eric Funk and Norm Demming officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7 pm on Friday December 1, 2023, also in the Wesley Room of the Church. Arrangements are being provided by The Arthur A. Bryant Funeral Home, Honesdale, PA.

Memorial contributions can be made to The Wayne County Community Foundation-YMCA Building Project Fund, 918 Church Street, Suite F, Honesdale, PA 18431, or the donor’s favorite charity.