Frederick W. Serbst, Jr., 67, of Bristol


Former DPW director, past deputy chief, Bristol Fire Department

Frederick W.  Serbst Jr., 67, of 1 Redic Court, Bristol, died peacefully on Sunday, April 7, 2013, at the Silver Creek Manor Nursing Home in Bristol, surrounded by his loving family.  He was the husband of Linda J. (Lucaski) Serbst, his wife of 32 years.

Born in Providence and a lifelong Bristol resident, he was a son of the late Frederick W. and Dorothea G. (Rodman) Serbst.

Fred was a cable splicer and then repair manager for the former NE Telephone Company for 30 years, retiring in the early 1990s. Upon his retirement, he became the Bristol Fire Department's first full time training and safety officer, holding the rank of battalion chief from 1997 to 2000. In 2000, Fred became the Director of Public Works for the Town of Bristol, a position he held for 10 years before retiring in 2010.

Fred joined the Bristol Volunteer Fire Department Dreadnaught Hook, Ladder & Hose Co. No. 1 in 1964. In 1971, at age 26, he became an assistant chief and also served as deputy chief from 1974 through 1979.  He returned to the board of engineers as an assistant chief in 1990 and deputy chief until 1993.  Fred was a life member of the Bristol Rescue Squad, the RI State Fireman's League and the Dreadnaught Hook, Ladder and Hose Co.  He was a certified instructor in the department's division of training and a certified instructor for the RI State Fire Academy.  He was also a member of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) and a certified Fire Investigator with the National Association of Fire Investigators.

He was active for many years in NHRA drag racing. An avid outdoorsman, he was a member of the Tiverton Rod and Gun Club, served in the RI National Guard for several years, enjoyed spending time working in his yard and gardens and spending time with family and friends.

Besides his wife, he leaves a daughter, Cortney B. Lancaster of Bristol; two grandsons, Vaughn R. Byrd and Devon R. Lancaster, both of Bristol; a sister, Dolores A. "Lola" Salesses and her husband Jay of Warren; two sisters-in-law, Catherine Bobba (Mike) of Portsmouth and Christine Henderson (Mark Silvia) of Tiverton; and a niece and several nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 13 in St. Mary's Church, 330 Wood St., Bristol.  Burial with fire department honors will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery, Chestnut Street. Visiting hours are Friday, April 12, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Sansone Funeral Home, 192 Wood St., Bristol.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bristol Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 775, or to Silver Creek Manor Nursing Home "Patient Activities Fund," 7 Creek Lane, both Bristol, RI  02809 or to Beacon Hospice, 1 Catamore Blvd., East Providence, RI  02914. For online condolences, shared memories, information and directions go to


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To Linda and family, so sorry for your loss. Fred was a great guy. Another life gone too soon and you will be in my prayers.

Monday, April 8, 2013 | Report this

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