Boney named as Biloxi’s Outstanding Citizen

Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney was named today as Biloxi’s Outstanding Citizen for 2015 in a Lions Club luncheon.

Boney was cited as someone who has “blended his love of his community and its colorful history with his passion for firefighting and making Biloxi a better place to live.” Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich read a proclamation that named today as Joe Boney Day during the 85th annual Outstanding Biloxi luncheon, which was held at the Biloxi Yacht Club.

Boney, who has served in the Biloxi Fire Department for more than 30 years, and has never missed a day of work, was recognized for organizing and leading relief efforts to storm-stricken communities in New York, Oklahoma and central Mississippi and for inspiring Biloxi firefighters to donate time and local businesses and residents to donate money toward the relief trips.

Boney was nominated by his wife Nancy and also was recognized for his  religious and charitable efforts, which his wife said “are a daily part of his life.” At his church, Blessed Seelos Catholic Church in Biloxi, he is a Pastoral Council member and also serves as Sacristan, Eucharistic Minister and Usher.

Boney also was recognized for founding the West End Hose Co. #3, the city’s all-volunteer fire museum, which is housed in the city’s last original Volunteer Fire House. The initiative has grown from a single room to a building full of fire artifacts, photos and other historic documents, attracting retired firefighters, and hundreds of schoolchildren and visitors each year.

The museum has spawned several other Boney-led initiatives, including the resurrection of the annual Fireman’s Day parade, and drives to help needy members of the community.

Boney joined the Biloxi Fire Department in 1984, and working his way up through the ranks, being named one of the department’s youngest battalion chiefs in 1993 before being named fire chief by Mayor A.J. Holloway in 2013.

Boney and his wife of more than 30 years are the parents of two daughters, Betsy and Olivia; and three grandchildren, Bella, Zoe and Ayden.
See photos from today’s luncheon