Russell Paul Mogel

November 14, 1921October 3, 2020
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Russell P. Mogel 98, of Windsor Township, passed peacefully on Saturday, October 3, 2020 in his residence, with his devoted wife by his side.

He was the loving husband of Evelyn G. (Burrell) Mogel. The couple married on May 23, 1959 and celebrated 61 years of marriage.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughter Joanne Kissling, of Reading-wife of Wayne, son Russell R. Mogel, of Bernville-husband of Beth, daughter Karen R Borrell, of Hamburg-wife of Daniel, daughter Sharon L. Mogel, of Bluffton, SC, son Gary A. Mogel, of Bern Township-husband of Karen, brother Robert Mogel, of Conway SC and sister Bertha Winter, of Reading. Russell was predeceased by his father and mother, Paul H. Mogel and Ruth L. (Moser), daughter Patricia Coogler, son Russell P. Jr, brother Richard and brother Roger.

He is blessed with 19 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren, one of which is Tyler Mogel, serving as a career fire fighter in the Richmond VA Fire Dept., and a U.S. Marine. He is the son of Russell R. and Beth Mogel.

Russell was a 1939 graduate of Reading High School, attended Albright College and Wyomissing PolyTech.

He served in the U.S. Army, during WWII from 1944-1946 and received an honorable discharge. He worked as a metal chemical analyst at Carpenter Steel Corp for 13 ½ years. In 1939 he joined the Reading Fire Department as a Riverside Fire Company volunteer member. In 1953 he was elected as an Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Reading, ascended to the rank of Deputy Chief and eventually became Reading’s Fire Chief in 1971, retiring in 1983. He was the owner and operator of Mogel Fire Extinguisher Sales & Service for 67 years retiring in 2017.

Russell was a state certified fire instructor for 45 years serving as an adjunct instructor at the states fire academy in Lewistown. He and his father, Paul were the first father/son duo state instructors who taught countless fire fighters across the state. He was proud to continue this father/son tradition of teaching with his son Gary. Together, they instructed fire safety to many businesses and industries for over 30 years. Russell was an avid hunter and fisherman spending countless hours in the local woods and streams. He enjoyed fly fishing the Snake River in Jackson Hole Wyoming. He loved the challenge of beating the video poker machines in Las Vegas, Reno and even Atlantic City.

He always lived and prepared for the future. His Development of the McKnight and Spring Fire station was a testament of that. It was built large enough to house the frontline apparatus serving that district of the city, as well as room for reserve trucks and a large basement for storage that the FD enjoys today. He had great intentions of building a similar fire station at 11th and Penn on the SW corner and was denied. He was very instrumental in acquiring the location to what is now the Reading/Berks Fire Training site knowing the importance of continued education to better serve current and future firefighters.

In 1974 he designed the city’s first “Super Pumper”. It had a 1750-gallon per minute pump and a 750-gallon water tank to protect, the then Dana Corp., Glidden paint works and the current Carpenter Tech properties. He figured that someday, if times got tough and the city reduced pumpers, it would have been able to handle a lot of challenges independently. He was in favor of the lime green color of fire trucks because of the visibility that it added while on the street. He definitely was ahead of his time He also was instrumental in the design of Reading Regional Airport’s very first ARFF crash truck back in the early 80’s. Russell and the fire chief from York PA, started an organization which is known today as the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chief’s Assoc. He saw the need for the surrounding area chiefs, who were managing similar size departments, and who could benefit from sharing each other’s labor, personnel issues, firefighting tactics, purchasing of apparatus and equipment, among other things.

Affiliations: He was a member of Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Reading, Lifetime member of Riverside Volunteer Fire Company, International Association of Fire Chiefs, PA Fire Chief’s Assoc, Berks County Fire Beneficial Assoc, Riverside Beneficial Assoc, Keystone Fire Company-Myerstown, Virginville Fire Company. He was also a proud and active member of Berks County Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Kempton Rod & Gun Club.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Russell’ memory may be made to: Reading Fire Museum, 501 S 5th St, Reading PA 19602, Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 421 Windsor St, Reading PA 19601 and Red Cross of Berks County, 701 Centre Ave, Reading PA 19601.

Thank you, Family Pillars Hospice of Bethlehem, PA for your kind and caring staff during this time. A special thank you to Dawn, Becky and Latidia.

The family will receive family & friends at 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday, October 10 at Aumans Inc., Funeral Home, 390 West Neversink Rd., Reiffton. Graveside services with full Fire Department & Military Honors will immediately follow at Forest Hills Memorial Park, Reiffton.

In accordance with CDC guidelines, attendees are encouraged to practice social distancing & face masks are required in the funeral home.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Mogel family.


  • Paul H. Mogel, Father (deceased)
  • Ruth L. (Moser) Mogel, Mother (deceased)
  • Patricia Coogler, Daughter (deceased)
  • Russell P. Mogel Jr., Son (deceased)
  • Roger Mogel, Brother (deceased)
  • Evelyn G. (Burrell) Mogel, Wife
  • Richard Mogel, Brother
  • Joanne Kissling (Wayne), Daughter
  • Russell R. Mogel (Beth), Son
  • Karen R. Borrell (Daniel), Daughter
  • Sharon L. Mogel, Daughter
  • Gary A. Mogel (Karen), Son
  • Robert Mogel, Brother
  • Bertha Winter, Sister
  • Russell also leaves behind 19 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren to cherish his memory.

Learn more about the Mogel name


  • Reading Fire Museum
  • Holy Spirit Lutheran Church
  • Red Cross of Berks County


  • Viewing

    Saturday, October 10, 2020

  • Graveside Committal With Full Military & Fire Dept. Honors

    Saturday, October 10, 2020


Russell Paul Mogel

have a memory or condolence to add?

Michael Bacon

October 16, 2020

Being able to live with my grandfather was amazing. He taught me many things like fishing and blackjack and how to work on extinguishers. The main thing he taught me was to "think think think" as he would put it. Besides raising his entire family he saved many lives in the fire department which I am proud to say that I am his family member. Pop, I love you very much and I will be seeing you soon.

John Garbini

October 16, 2020

Gary and Family,
I just learned of the passing of Chief Mogel. My deepest condolences to the entire family. Not only did I have the honor of working with the Chief on the fire ground and training activities, but I also had the pleasure of working with him at Quadrant Plastics with his extinguisher service. Hopefully someday when we are all reunited he can show me how to "catch the big fish" he so offend talked about.

Captain John Garbini
Kenhorst Fire Dept.

Karen Borrell (Mogel)

October 11, 2020

I am so blessed to have had so many years of memories with you. I am so sad that I can no longer hug you, kiss you, scratch your back, talk with you and eat meals with you. However, I cannot be greedy. You are now in a better place without anymore pain and suffering. You gave us so much in your long life and I appreciate the time that we did have with you. Thank you for helping my children with their school studies, especially Math and Science, which you were so good with. Thank you for all of your stories of the great"olden days" and thank you for your love and support that you provided to me and my entire family for many many years. Until we meet again, I will dearly miss you but will keep all of your memories alive within my heart and all of our traditions we had will carry on as well. I love you daddy...Rest In Peace.

Chester Ruminski

October 11, 2020

Dear Mogel Family,
It was an honor to sound Taps at Mr. Mogel's service. May he rest in peace!
With deepest sympathy,
Chet Ruminski
Bugles Across America
Navy Veteran

Sean Canto

October 10, 2020

Sorry for your loss, Russ was a great man.

bill katinowsky

October 10, 2020

Gary & family, so sorry for your loss. I met Russ beck in the middle 60's when he used to stop in the Guard House and was friends with my Pop. He actually gave me a personal tour of the Riverside Fire Station back then. He was certainly a great person. May he rest in eternal peace.

Christine Winter-Holt

October 8, 2020

I remember a few years ago, having dinner with Uncle Russ. We met up with him after he finished work. My kids were amazed that he was still working! He told us great stories all throughout dinner. By the end of dinner my son wanted to be a fire truck. Yes a fire truck. I also recall a conversation I had with him. I had called him about picking up some items from my grandmother Bertha’s and I asked him how he was doing. I learned that you don’t ask a 90+ year old how they are doing unless you really want the details. It was an exciting conversation, and I enjoyed every minute. Even though Russ is not physically here anymore he will still be watching over his loved ones from above. Thank you for these special memories.

Love and best wishes to all family and friends.

Christine Winter-Holt

Rick Strunk

October 7, 2020

Condolences to the Mogel family

I had the privilege of knowing Russ for years because he would come to our business (Redner's) to take care of our fire extinguishers . It was always nice talking to him when he would come in and I was always amazed when he told me his age that he was still working and sharp as a whip.

RIP Russ,

Rick Strunk

Timothy Dillon

October 7, 2020

I had the privilege of being a firefighter during Russ's time as Reading Fire Chief. He cared about his men. Rest in peace.

Renai Hall

October 7, 2020

I was saddened to hear of your loss today. My thoughts are with the family.


Learn more about the Mogel name