Fire chief remembered for generosity

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Elida Fire Chief Adam Anthony is remembered as many things. But perhaps most of all, as a man who cared about others and the community he called home.

Anthony, 45, died from an apparent heart attack Friday while hunting elk near Ruidoso.

Anthony grew up in Elida. He was a farmer, firefighter, and a friend to many. He was a youth minister, an adventurer and avid outdoorsman.

Chad Hatcher said Anthony made a difference in everybody’s life. They had known each other for 18 years and were good friends.

Hatcher recalled the two of them going to Arizona to compete in a gold mining contest together. Anthony had mined gold as a young man in Alaska — one of his many adventures that also included taking an Elida 4-H group to the Caribbean and trips of his own to New Zealand and Australia.

“It was something we did for fun, sort of like a vacation deal one year,” Hatcher said. “It was like a little competition they had out there every year. Basically, who can move rocks the fastest, drill holes, then who can pan for gold. It was kind of a fun deal.”

Region III Emergency Management Service director John Hatcher said there’s not one fireman who served beside Anthony who doesn’t have a story about him.

Gary Rains said Anthony was the reason he became an emergency medical technician and Portales firefighter. Rains had all but given up but Anthony urged him to keep trying.

“He cared about everybody and it didn’t matter if he knew you or didn’t know you,” Rains said. “He cared. He would do anything for you. I don’t know how many people that I’ve seen break down in Elida…he had no clue who they were. But he would stop and fix ‘em. He would stop and go get parts for their vehicles in town.”

A funeral with firefighter’s honors is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Elida High School Gymnasium.