Richard Stilp (August 22, 1952 - January 27, 2024)

In loving memory of
Richard Stilp
  • August 22, 1952
  • -
  • January 27, 2024

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Obituary

Richard H. Stilp, 71, passed away on Saturday, January 27, 2024, peacefully at his home in Oviedo, Florida.

Richard was born on August 22, 1952, in Neenah, WI.

Richard Harold Stilp what can I say a firefighter’s fireman, an instructor, mentor, and a true friend to many. He just wasn’t a firefighter he lived it and embraced it. He loved the fire brotherhood and embodied this in all he did.

Rick started his journey into the fire service in the mid 70s and ended his career as fire chief. Every position from firefighter paramedic, engineer, lieutenant, district chief, and fire chief he embraced the position and strived to learn his next challenge with pride and zeal. He also ensured that the people around him understood this pride. His enthusiasm was infectious.

No matter where he went he attracted firefighters, no matter who he was talking to he spoke about the fire department. No matter when in his professional life he had an opportunity to recruit, he would.

His fire service career included many projects and many different aspects of the fire department from being a paramedic ( and a fine good one) to a rescue diver, high angle rescuer to hazmat tech and hazmat medic. He developed dive rescue programs, EMS bicycle patrol (one of the first in the country) and along with an associate firefighter, the first Hazmat Medic Program in the country.

He was once told that he was a renaissance man that his work is ahead of its time.

Rick was one that loved to teach, and with that was the desire to learn as well. Although having difficulty learning in his early years he overcame this with a tenacious desire to learn a new skill and the knowledge that would follow.

He was never shy to give a helping hand and mentor at all levels, individuals that he saw promise and interest never giving a negative impression always positive.

On the state level involved with the training of firefighters, served many years as the Director of Central Florida Fire Academy along with involvement with the local planning council and the Emergency Response Commission. Writing, developing and teaching specialized topics to emergency responders across the state. Hazardous materials awareness, operations, fentanyl response, chemical suicide response and hydration to name a few and one of many to institute the Florida Hazmat Symposium.

On the national level, technical consultant to the National Fire Academy for the Advanced Hazmat Life Support Program, and  member of the National Fire Protection Association Hazmat Standards Group.

We are not sure how many people Rick mentored over the years but it has to be in the several hundred.

His work is present in many articles and books that have been published over the years, which will continue to influence the future generations of responders.

Richard, the son of a sailor, enjoyed being on the water boating with his family, traveling with the love of his life, working with his son on cars and spending quality time with his sister and brother. Some of his favorite things were watching the sunset, good bourbon, and sharing stories.   

Richard is survived by his wife, “His Sweetie” Anna, their children, Julie Stilp Harahan (Jerry), Kelly Stilp Campbell (Jude), Jake Stilp (Erin), stepchildren, Rachel van Olffen  (Sam) and Becca Bassoo, grandchildren, Rebecca, Christopher, Taylor, Tyler, Trey, Eli, Olivia, Noah and Iris, great-grandchildren, Jacob and Bruce. His sister, Pauli Uricchio (Joe), brother, Jeff Stilp (Lisa) and sister-in-law, Ruanne Deal (Kenneth) and many friends. Richard is preceded in death by his parents, Ivan and Margaret Stilp.

A memorial service for Richard will be held 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sunday, February 25, 2024, at The Orlando Fire Department Union Hall (4005 North Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, Florida 32804)


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    31 Jan 2024
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  15. Andy Byrnes says:
    31 Jan 2024
    Rick always greeted me warmly and kindly. He was so willing to help and support me when I was presenting in Florida. he made me feel welcome and he was always a gentleman. All things that rose above being a great Hazmat Teacher and Responder, he was a good man.

  16. Thomas Jordan lit a candle:
    31 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 31, 2024 at 1:25:06 PM

  17. Nola Ripplinger says:
    31 Jan 2024
    Rick was one of the warmest people I know. Always willing to lend a hand, give advice and support. He will certainly be greatly missed and I'm thankful that our paths crossed and I was able to meet this wonderful human being.
    My hope for his family, even though your world is so dark right now, you are soon able to see some light in the memories you had with your loved one. God bless.

  18. Donald Adams, Sr says:
    31 Jan 2024
    Rick was more than just a close friend; for many he was the guiding force and the relentless advocate for the fire service we hold dear. He invested not only his expertise but also his desire and unwavering dedication in the hazmat medical program. The impact Rick had on hazmat students, other instructors and firefighters as a whole, is immeasurable.

    Rick became my partner out of the fire academy on Rescue 1 and quickly his ability to inspire and support those around him was a true gift, and his presence will be sorely missed. Rick and I were together for several years on Rescue 1 and then followed each other on different shifts. Rick has left a significant legacy within the fire service and hazmat field. Our community has lost a bright light, and our hearts are heavy with the weight of this loss.

    With heartfelt condolences and a very heavy heart, Donald R. Adams, Sr., Ed.D.

  19. Polly Odom lit a candle:
    31 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 31, 2024 at 1:07:25 PM

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    31 Jan 2024
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  22. Michael Moore says:
    31 Jan 2024
    Thank you for being who you were. You touched more lives than you know.

  23. Michael Aiken says:
    31 Jan 2024
    I was lucky enough to have worked with Rick at OFD. Many good memories. I am proud to call him my friend. Rest in peace Brother.

  24. Charlotte & William Bowers lit a candle:
    31 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 31, 2024 at 1:04:06 AM

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    30 Jan 2024
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  38. Bill Sturgeon lit a candle:
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  41. Anais lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
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  42. Neal Carroll says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Rick, I think back at our Jr. High days ... we've been friends for a long time. Sure gonna miss ya buddy.

  43. Neal Carroll lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:02:56 PM

  44. JENNIFER URBAN lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:44:25 PM

  45. Jason Waterfield lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:22:34 PM

  46. Pauli Stilp Uricchio says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Always so proud of you - miss you so much - forever in my heart

  47. Pauli Uricchio lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:08:01 PM

  48. Glen David Rudner says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Richard, you touched many lives throughout your life some only once but many of your friends and colleagues many times with your humor , kindness, knowledge and most importantly your love. I mean that in the most heartfelt way as you did something we all wish to do and that is that be a shining example of a good soles human. I will miss your friendship knowledge and love.

  49. Andrew Thompson lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:57:39 PM

  50. Gary posted an image:
    30 Jan 2024
    Firefighter at Heaven's Gate
    Firefighter at Heaven's Gate

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