Former Cary fire chief Lester F. Macko, a 37-year veteran of the department, died suddenly Thursday, fire officials said Friday. He was 81.
Macko joined the Cary Fire Protection District in 1963 as a volunteer firefighter, and he rose through the ranks to become chief in 1975. He served on a voluntary basis until he became the department's first salaried chief in 1996. He retired in 2000.
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Macko's son Jeffrey serves as the current chief.
A wake is scheduled from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Living Grace Community Church, 1500 Silver Lake Road in Cary. The funeral will be held there at 11 a.m. Wednesday.