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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  1. Joe Leonard lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:18:18 PM

  2. Matt Lamm lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:16:57 PM

  3. Brian Dennison says:
    30 Jan 2024
    It was an honor to work with Chief Stilp. We worked together at many emergency response exercises and taught many classes together. Always a consummate professional with the students. Always a great humor among his friends. Chief, you will always be remembered and greatly missed.

  4. Brian Dennison lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:10:58 PM

  5. Russ Accardi lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:50:31 PM

  6. Russ Accardi says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Rick was one of the most knowledgeable Haz mat instructors I have had the privilege to teach with! Rick has a profound legacy in how many students he was able to share his love for haz mat and being an instructor! He had a great ability to transfer that knowledge to the many FF’s he taught and many are Haz Mat leaders and Chiefs today because of him! RIP Brother

  7. Stacy Bender lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:46:10 PM

  8. Russ Accardi says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Rick was such a great fire service leader and one of the most knowledgeable Haz Mat professionals! More unique was his ability to transfer his knowledge to the students as one of the best instructors I ever worked alongside! RIP Brother!

  9. Pat Feagle lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:31:34 PM

  10. SandraDee Laury lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:24:39 PM

  11. Robert Cruthis says:
    30 Jan 2024
    I will miss you brother! Rest in Peace!

  12. Robert Cruthis lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:17:52 PM

  13. DD Odell says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Rescue Rick I also had the privilege of serving beside you when we were younger men-You embodied the spirit, honor, and tradition of our proud profession-a perpetual smile always on your face as we slammed the pole holes after a pre alert of “everybody goes…”
    Simply one of the best.

  14. Jennifer Pates lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:42:32 PM

  15. Gregory Socks lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:30:40 PM

  16. Gregory Socks lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:28:38 PM

  17. John Holgerson lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:27:50 PM

  18. John Holgerson says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Richard was a great person whom I greatly respected. Very much enjoyed working with him back in the day when I came to teach OFD their initial technical rescue training course was n confidence med space and trench rescue. A true professional who will be sorely missed

  19. Cindy Williams says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Stilp Family and friends, send my sincere condolences on the loss of Richard. It was a privilege to work with him during our HotZone Conferences every Oct! He will be truly missed.

  20. Mark lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:09:50 PM

  21. Candice Hoskinson Hawks says:
    30 Jan 2024
    God’s blessings. May He welcome you Home. I pray for Julie and Kelly (my nieces) and their brother, Jake. Also included in my prayers, his wife, Anna, his brother, Jeff, and his sister, along with his grandchildren and nieces and nephews, that they all find comfort in their memories.

  22. Laura & John Belknap lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:56:18 PM

  23. Lisa Stilp says:
    30 Jan 2024
    He was a amazing man in every way. So proud to be your sister in law!

  24. Jeff Stilp says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Brother I miss you so much. I'm proud to be your brother.

  25. Jack Pelletier says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Rick was the most caring and respectful person that I’ve ever worked with. He was admired by all who knew him. He had the ability to get the best from his subordinates. A true leader. He lead by example and experience. The world needs more men like Rick Rest easy now my friend.

  26. Robert Cruthis says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Rest in Peace brother!
    I will always be thankful for having known you!

  27. Robert Cruthis says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Rest in Peace brother! I will always remember you!

  28. Mary Bonneville lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:17:15 PM

  29. Lori Burkholder lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:14:35 PM

  30. Derek Tyler says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Rick was always a joy to be around, from his passion in the car scene to his dedication to the fire service, you could tell he was genuine and caring towards every individual he ever came into contact with. I truly believe those traits were passed down to his kids as well. Knowing Jake for almost 20 years I can see the same qualities and all that was taught over the years. He will be missed but his stories and memories will always live on.

  31. Kimberly Castro lit a candle:
    30 Jan 2024
    Lit since January 30, 2024 at 1:53:07 PM

  32. Michael Aiken says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Rick lived an extraordinary life. I was lucky enough to have worked with him at OFD. I feel so fortunate that we were friends. Rest in peace Brother.

  33. Debra LaRocca says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Our deepest sympathies and prayers for the entire family in your time of need.

    Debra LaRocca, Rachel Mikaelsen

  34. Pete McNeil says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Rick was not only a good friend. He was a role model for many. I will always remember the good times that we had together both on the job and off duty. I'm sure Rick has already rounded up our Fire Service/EMS Brothers and Sisters that went home to our Lord's House before him. There's no doubt they welcomed him with open arms. ❤️

  35. Butch Hayes says:
    30 Jan 2024
    You will truly be missed Chief

  36. Ellen O'BRIEN Kaslewicz says:
    30 Jan 2024
    Richard was One of a Kind.. You made a impact in this community. Thank you for your service.. Fly High!!!! The O'Brien's

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