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County honors the late Jimmy Stepp, veteran Rescue Squad leader

Jimmy Stepp/ Courtesy of Henderson County Rescue Squad Jimmy Stepp/ Courtesy of Henderson County Rescue Squad

James Eugene “Jimmy” Stepp, a lifelong Henderson County Rescue Squad member who died on Jan. 21 at age 69, was honored with a resolution of memoriam on Monday by the Henderson County Board of Commissioners.

Known for his unwavering commitment to helping others and his value as a "sounding board, advisor, encourager, teacher and storyteller," Stepp served the Rescue Squad for 29 years, including as deputy chief for 15 years and chief for two years, and remained an active member until his death.

"The Rescue Squad was like his family, they dealt with tragedy but also celebrated together," his obituary said. "And even as he died, the members of that family were by his side."

After reading the resolution to those who attended Monday evening’s meeting, board Vice Chair Michael Edney presented the resolution to Stepp’s daughter, Pam Capell. He also said UNC Pardee's Board of Directors intends to honor Stepp and is considering possibly creating a scholarship for first responders in his honor.

A native and lifelong resident of Henderson County, Stepp was the son of the late L.C. Stepp and Jessie Jackson Stepp. He was also preceded in death by a son, James Lawrence Stepp, and a sister, Diane Burrell.

He attended East Henderson High School and retired from General Electric after more than 30 years of service. A lifelong member of Union Hill Baptist Church, he had in recent years attended Kings Grove Baptist Church. He loved the Lord and knew without a doubt that his destiny was in heaven. He liked fishing, hunting and watching his grandson’s achievements.

He also loved coaching his daughter’s softball teams and when his grandsons came along enjoyed covering Friday night football games on Rescue Squad duty because he could also be part of the boys' lives.

In addition to his daughter Pamela and her husband, the Rev. Phillip Capell, Stepp is survived by his grandsons Cole McMurray and Will Capell, a student at Appalachian State University; a sister, Joyce Penny Stepp; aunts and uncles Arthur and Mary Stepp of Polk County and Grover and Maxie Jackson of Mills River, a niece, Tonya, and a nephew, Chris.

A funeral was held Jan. 27 at Kings Grove Baptist Church. Donations in Jimmy Stepp’s name may be made to the Henderson County Rescue Squad.

Here is the resolution in memoriam commissioners adopted on Monday night:

WHEREAS, Henderson County celebrates the life and public service of Lifetime Member Jimmy Stepp of the Henderson County Rescue Squad; and
WHEREAS, Jimmy Stepp was a Henderson County native and served for 29 years with the Henderson County Rescue Squad; and
WHEREAS, since joining the Rescue Squad, Jimmy Stepp served in numerous leadership roles
including Captain, Deputy Chief, Chief, and Board of Directors Member; and
WHEREAS, Jimmy Stepp could always be counted on to be there when Henderson County was in need; whether it was a football game standby, Apple Festival, or working tirelessly during a hurricane or snowstorm. His commitment to helping others never wavered; and
WHEREAS, Jimmy Stepp was instrumental in building community relationships and partnerships and was a friend, mentor, sounding board, advisor, encourager, teacher, storyteller, and Rescue Squad historian to his fellow Rescue Squad members; and
WHEREAS, Jimmy Stepp helped guide the future of countless new EMT’s and Rescue Technicians through his mentorship. His leadership had a ripple effect over thousands of lives of those in need from our community.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that James Eugene “Jimmy” Stepp will be remembered for his legacy of service and contributions to his community.