In Memoriam: Capt. Lee H. Kebler

Longtime LAFD Capt., LARFPA head and Alive! columnist, passes away. He was 100.

Remembrance by Capt. Jim Finn, Retired, LAFD; President,
LAFD Historical Society; and Club Member

Capt. Lee H. Kebler
1922 – 2022

Retired Capt. Lee Kebler, LAFD; Director, LARFPA; volunteer at the LAFD Historical Society; and former Alive! columnist, died June 26 at 100 years old. He had 31 years of City service, and was a Club Member.

Lee began his LAFD service March 18, 1947. He started on the B Platoon. The A Platoon was appointed on March 17. He served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II.
Early in Lee’s career, he was assigned to FS 62 in Venice. While there, he learned to drive and pump on their 1922 American LaFrance engine.

Lee Kebler (undated photo)

After Lee was promoted to Captain, he served in a variety of assignments, including several years at FS 26 (West Adams) and FS 94 (Coliseum). I met Lee in October of 1967 while preparing for the LAFD entrance oral. Roger Gillis and I went and talked to him as part of our preparation. He was then and continued to be a wealth of knowledge.

Lee chose as his last assignment, FS 112, as Captain of Fire Boat 2, the Ralph J. Scott. Lee retired from Boat 2 on June 1, 1978, after 31 years of service to the citizens of Los Angeles. Fire Boat 2 is owned by the LAFD Historical Society and has been fully rehabilitated by our volunteers.

His time of service was not over though. Lee and his wife Mary volunteered at the LAFD Historical Society’s Museum 27. Lee and Mary were there almost every week. Mary worked in the gift shop and cooked lunch for the volunteers. This went on until Lee was well into his 90s.

Lee concurrently served as a director of the Los Angeles Retired Fire and Police Association for 22 years. He served on the Pensions Committee and attended all meetings of the Pension Commission.

On May 7, Lee celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends. He was called home June 26, where he will rejoin Mary, who predeceased him. Godspeed, Lee, for a job well done