With a U.S. flag-draped casket and a last radio call, Arthur Benoit Tregre Jr. got a fireman’s funeral.
“Fire alarm to Arthur Tregre Jr. This is the last call for Arthur Tregre Jr.,” sounded the radio call as fellow firemen laid his body to rest on July 3 at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Hahnville.
After serving 52 years with the Hahnville Volunteer Fire Department, Tregre had become known as the man who was always ready to lend a hand, and it certainly applied to the fire department he helped establish as a charter member.
“I started with my dad because he was one of the original ones,” said son Jeffrey Tregre. “He was a great guy and was enthused about it. He liked doing the fire department stuff.”
He recalled a father’s dedication extending to keeping the department’s first red fire truck in a workshop building he had on Sycamore Street, where they grew up, until they raised the funds to build Hahnville’s first fire station on Lincoln Street.
Jeffrey recalled that time as a junior fireman, as well as the many times he was around the station growing up. He also remembered the many “can shake times” with them at the red light asking for donations and the fireman fairs that all helped raise money for firefighting equipment.
“At that time, we didn’t have tax money … just what we raised,” he said.
Jeffrey went on to become a fireman at age 18 and served as assistant fire chief for many years.
“He just liked dedicating his time to the parish to help with firefighting,” Jeffrey said.
Chief Matthew Allshouse added, “For someone that was with the department from the start and still up until his accident to be so dedicated in the direction of the department gave many members great respect for Mr. Arthur, including myself.”
Tregre also was retired from St. Charles Parish Government, a U.S. Marine veteran, honorary lifetime member of the Hahnville Volunteer Fire Department, and a member of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
Former Fire Chief Reggie Gaubert said Tregre served on numerous department committees, and used his carpentry and plumbing skills to help maintain the fire stations.
“He was definitely committed,” Gaubert said. “Whatever we needed, he saw to it we got it.”
He and Tregre’s son remember the man who was always there to help.
“I think it was his way of life,” Gaubert said. “He always was helping people. This was one way he could give back to his community and help people in his community. He didn’t hesitate.”
- The Hahnville Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1967 with Arthur Benoit Tregre Jr. as a founding member.
- Tregre helped build the station on Lincoln Street.
- After serving 52 years with the department Tregre, 86, died on June 28.