• Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email
Former Fire Chief Eddie Cureton Remembered for His Passion, Mentorship 
Chief Eddie Cureton toured the downtown station prior to his 2004 retirement.

Pat Edward Cureton, a Knoxville firefighter whose career spanned four decades and who served as KFD’s 13th Fire Chief, died January 5. He was 82.

Chief Cureton joined the Fire Department in June 1964. He served as Director of Emergency Services for the 1982 World’s Fair and was an emergency services consultant during the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. He had retired but was called back to active duty in 2002 by Mayor Victor Ashe, who asked Cureton to serve as Fire Chief.

“Few firefighters in the City's history were as revered as Chief Eddie Cureton,” Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our firefighters and the Cureton family and friends.”

Chief Cureton led KFD through 2004. His younger brother Bruce Cureton had previously served as Chief from 1982 to 1997. Combined, the brothers served as Chief for more than 17 years.

Current Chief Stan Sharp was a Captain assigned to the Training Center when Ed Cureton was Chief 16 years ago. Though they worked together, Sharp’s most vivid memories of Chief Cureton come from shared experiences after Chief Cureton had retired.

“No one was more passionate about the Fire Department than Eddie Cureton,” Sharp said. “His passion for the Knoxville Fire Department, both during his active service with the department and during his retirement, was unparalleled.

“Even after retiring, Chief Cureton was at every KFD event that he could possibly attend, proudly wearing his uniform.”

Sharp said he appreciated Chief Cureton’s willingness to listen.

“Chief Eddie Cureton was a mentor and encourager to countless firefighters in the Knoxville Fire Department,” Sharp said. “He was a great student of Fire Department history and loved to share our history with others.

“I valued talking with him so much. He’d been in the Chief’s position, and he’d served so many other roles. Eddie had been there, done that, and he was always willing to listen and be a voice of encouragement.”

Chief Cureton had been an avid runner and a devoted fan of the Lady Vols and Fulton Falcons football.

These photos, Sharp said, are fitting remembrances of Chief Cureton in recent years.

He’s pictured pre-retirement (above) with Downtown Station firefighters and (below) at a graduation ceremony early last year; riding in a historic fire engine in the 2017 Christmas Parade; and carrying the Olympic Torch in 2014.

Funeral arrangements are being coordinated by Berry Lynnhurst Funeral Home and will be announced at a later time.

February 2019 Fire Academy graduation

Chief Cureton, left, rides in a historic fire engine in the 2017 downtown Christmas Parade.

Chief Cureton carries the Olympic Torch in 2014.
Posted by evreeland On 06 January, 2020 at 3:56 PM