The city of Rose Bud is mourning the loss of someone “who truly had a servant’s heart,” according to Mayor Shawn Gorham.
Assistant Fire Chief Jonathan “Harry” Hussman served as a firefighter on the Rose Bud Volunteer Fire Department for over 20 years. Hussman died Wednesday at age 41 in Little Rock.
“I saw him drop what he was doing time and time again as we grew up and over the years to help out complete strangers,” Gorham said.
Gorham gave an example of how committed Hussman was to Rose Bud. “During Rose Bud’s first Summerfest, I had given the fire department a budget to spend on the fireworks. He said, ‘We need more, we want to make this big.’ He then opened up his wallet and put $500 of his own money into the pot to showcase the event.”
Hussman’s charity did not end with what he did for Summerfest, Gorham said. “He volunteered for everything that was going on in town, from the cleanup to helping chalk the fields at the ballpark complex during tournaments. He would have given the shirt off his back to help anyone who needed it. We lost a good man, but he left us with a lifetime of memories.
Gorham said Hussman was a fine example of “how we should love our neighbor as ourselves.” He is asking that everyone keep “Harry’s” family and the Rose Bud community in their prayers as they go through these difficult days.”
After its Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 7, Rose Bud held a chili benefit dinner and auction for Hussman.
“The Hussmans were the ones who started the fire department [in Rose Bud],” said Joey Smith, owner/operator of SNS Security in Searcy and a close friend of Hussman’s who worked with him as a Rose Bud firefighter. “Harry’s grandfather actually started it and then there were three sons, Terry, David and I think Alan was on there and they all were the ones that were basically firemen when I got on the fire department in ‘89.
“Terry Hussman was the fire chief. Tommy was the brother and Tommy’s son is Jonathan, and so when he was a kid in school he would come up there with his dad. He really wasn’t part of the fire department at that point but he was always around and after he got old enough where he could be on the department, he started doing stuff and responding and just progressed from that point.”
Smith said when his father-in-law died, he started CPR and called Hussman on the phone and said, “’It’s Ray, I need you right now.’ So, he was on the radio telling everybody where to go and who it was and to go to my house; my in-laws lived next door to me.”
“He has always been around,” Smith said. “We hunted together, have done some fishing and played cards together. I have known him all these years. He used to work at the shop where a buddy of mine had a fabrication shop there. He was just always the guy to be around to help do anything, and you could not ask for a better guy.”
Smith said Hussman spent his life doing “fire department stuff” and “every call that he could make, he would go.”
A funeral service for Hussman is being held Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Rose Bud baseball fields.