Fairfield Twp. firefighter remembered for job passion, humor and love of Notre Dame football

Danny Roell was the guy everyone wanted to work with, said friend and colleague Jason Agoston.

“Comedian” was a good way to describe him, Agoston said. But when duty called, he said Roell was all business.

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Roell died Friday, June 1, after a long fight with Hodgkins Lymphoma. He was 31.

“He had a smile that could light up a room,” said Agoston, who went to school with Roell at Butler Tech before working with him in Fairfield Twp. “He was awesome. A lot of guys wanted to work with him.”

Roell, of Trenton, went to Edgewood High School and was born in Middletown and had worked for many other area fire departments.

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While the list of what Agoston will miss about Roell is long, one thing he said he — and many of his friends and family — will miss is watching his Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

“The thing myself and his friends and family will miss most is him sitting in front of the television like a little kid, wearing his Notre Dame Jersey, yelling at the game,” Agoston said.

Roell began working for Fairfield Twp. in July 2013. Fire Chief Timothy Thomas said he was “young and energetic” and loved the fire service.

“He loved to come into the station when he was off sick and wasn’t able to ride the truck. We were able to allow him to come in to do light duty around the office,” Thomas said. “He just wanted to be at the firehouse. He felt better when he was there.”

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Thomas called Roell “a fighter.”

“It’s always hard for us to watch one of our own go through a battle like that. He gave it everything he had,” he said. “It’s a terrible tragedy to watch somebody that young to fight that hard and not succeed.”

Fairfield Twp. Administrator Julie Vonderhaar had spoken with Roell over the years about his cancer, and once told him, “If it would save you, I will donate my bone marrow.”

“I appreciate the time that I knew him. I appreciate the service that he gave, and I personally am going to miss him,” she said.

Roell is survived by his wife, Cristina Roell, his parents, mother- and father-in-law, siblings and grandmother.

A visitation is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Wilson-Schramm-Spaulding Funeral Home, 3805 Roosevelt Blvd. in Middletown. A Mass of Christian burial will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Holy Name Of Jesus Catholic Church, 222 Hamilton Ave. in Trenton with Father Paul Gebhardt officiating. Interment will be at Woodside Cemetery in Middletown.

Memorial donations may be made to Ben Jackson Memorial Fund at Jewish Hospital, 4777 E. Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236 or Cecil Dye Foundation, 1241 Nagel Road, Cincinnati, OH 45255.

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