Retired Capt. Andy Troncale always liked a good practical joke, and his fellow firefighters often found themselves at the receiving end of his good-natured high jinks.
Around 400 mourners gathered at Monday to pay their last respects to the fun-loving Troncale, who caused by long-time exposure to carcinogens through his work.
Fire Chief Tony Trabbie remembered Troncale's "kind" and "gentle" personality and his dedication to both family and the fire service.
"He brought out the best in all of us," Trabbie said. "He never backed down, he never quit, and he never gave up."
Troncale began his career as an explorer with Los Angeles County Fire Department and joined the Arcadia Fire Department in 1979. He received several awards, including the City of Arcadia Exceptional Service Award and the Arcadia Fire Department Firefighter of the Year.
Throughout his career, Troncale had the responsibility of training dozens of new firefighters.
'A Leader and a Mentor'
"He was a leader and a mentor for all of us firefighters," Trabbie said. "He truly understood firefighting."
But his love of firefighting was matched only by his love for others. Even in the last days of his illness, Troncale always remembered to ask after the families, lives and health of his former colleagues, Trabbie said.
Following the service, firefighters and public safety officers from departments across Los Angeles County raised their arms in salute as pallbearers carried Troncale's flag-draped coffin outside the church and loaded it into an awaiting hearse.
A cortege spanning several blocks followed the hearse to Rose Hills Memorial Park for internment.
Troncale is predeceased by his mother, Evelyn, and his brother, Steven. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Debbie, and their three sons: Clark, 22; Chad, 20; and Clint, 17; his father, Steve; sister, Paula; in-laws Robert and Diane Clark; and brothers-in law, nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or to the Andy Troncale Benevolent Fund by mail through the Los Angeles Firemen’s Credit Union, 815 W Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041 or online at www.firefamilyfoundation.org.