William T. Halstead, Sr
January 18, 1949 to July 8, 2022
William “Bill” Halstead, Sr, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Friday, July 8, 2022. Bill was the beloved husband of Debbie Aurelia Halstead. Bill, a lifelong resident of Sandy Hook and graduate of Newtown High School, was born on January 18, 1949, to Mildred (Casey) Halstead and Leo D. Halstead.
Bill had been a member of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co for over 57 years, carrying on the legacy of his family members, including his mother, father, brother, and numerous aunts and uncles. He joined the department in January 1965 when he turned 16. He had served continuously as chief of the department for 44 years after being elected to the position in 1978.
Bill worked for the State of Connecticut at Fairfield Hills Hospital in Newtown for 25 years. He was the chief of the hospital’s fire department until his retirement in 1997. Bill also served as Deputy Fire Marshal for the Town of Newtown from 1983 to 2001, and became the full-time Marshal in 2001 until he retired from that position in 2016. He also served as Newtown’s Emergency Management Director for 23 years.
Known simply as “Chief” to countless numbers of firefighters and other first responders throughout the state, Bill was considered a leader, mentor, and friend to many. While Bill was known to be tough at times and always demanded the best from those who served under him, Bill’s main concern was always for the safety of his fellow firefighters and the citizens of Sandy Hook and Newtown, as well as for the numerous other communities in the state that he assisted throughout his life.
Bill was inducted into the Connecticut State Firefighter’s Association Hall of Fame in 2011. In addition to his extraordinary service in Sandy Hook, he also was a member of Connecticut State Firefighter’s Association and served as the president of the association in 2020. Bill also served as the president of Fairfield County Fire Chief’s Emergency Plan and was a member of many other firefighting organizations including Connecticut Fire Marshal’s Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Arson Investigators, and Connecticut Parade Marshals.
In addition to his wife, Bill is survived by his children, Karin Halstead, and her husband, John Jeltema, of Sandy Hook; Krista Earle and her husband, David, of Southbury; and William Halstead, Jr, and his wife, Allison, of Southbury. He is also survived by his two stepsons, Ian and Vincent Guilfoil. Of all of his accomplishments, Bill was most proud of his grandchildren, whom he adored and spent much of his time with. His grandchildren include Ryan and Nathan Halstead, Elizabeth and Evelyn Earle, and Emma Guilfoil. He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and friends that he considered family.
In addition to his parents, Bill was predeceased by his brother, Frank Halstead.
The impact that Bill has had on the community and firefighting profession cannot be measured. His dedication to the emergency services and the love of his community was second to none. His family would like to acknowledge the tremendous outpouring of love and support they have received from family, friends, fellow first responders, and citizens since his passing.
A full fire department funeral for Bill will be conducted on Friday, July 15, 2022. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:30 am at St Rose of Lima Church, 46 Church Hill Road in Newtown, followed by interment at St Rose Cemetery in Sandy Hook. Calling hours will be on Thursday, July 14, from 5 to 8 pm, at Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main Street in Newtown.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company, PO Box 783, Sandy Hook CT 06482 or SandyHookFire.com.