A photo of a firefighter from Valley Regional Fire Authority in uniform providing service and rescue.

Remembering Former Auburn Fire Department Assistant Chief Shropshire

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Former Auburn Fire Department Assistant Chief Monroe Steven Shropshire on December 20, 2020. We offer sincere condolences to his family and would like to recognize and share his many accomplishments by offering an excerpt from his obituary, provided by his wife, Merry Shropshire.

Steve was born to Monroe and Roseleen Shropshire on May 18, 1946 in Athens , Georgia.

He is well known for his love of family and friends, dedication to the Fire Service, creativity and colorful sense of humor. Steve graduated from Evergreen High School in Burien in 1964 and joined the United States Navy. He completed Navy Security Group Communications Training in Pensacola, FL. He served in Imperial Beach, CA and on the USS Providence in Yokosuka, Japan and Viet Nam, 1967 – 1968 as a Communications Technician for the Admiral of the 7th Fleet. He married the love of his life, Merry Johnson, in 1967.
After his service he returned to the US from Vietnam and Japan with Merry and son Mark. He was hired by the Auburn Fire Department in January 1969. In 1971 his son Matthew Shropshire was born. Steve attended Green River Community College, North Seattle Community College, University of Washington, and the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program.

Steve also attended the Washington State Police Academy, and was an Arson Investigator for the Auburn Fire Department and Pinkerton. After going through the ranks of the Auburn Fire Department, he was promoted to Assistant Chief at 38 years old. He retired after 28 years. Steve was proud to have commanded one of the largest structure fires in Washington State history at Leatherback Industries.

Steve was an instructor at various institutes including Bellevue Community College and the George Meany Institute. He was also an author and speaker at the National Fire Academy. Steve was instrumental in the formation of Special Operations Programs, the Washington State Fire Academy, the Auburn helipad for the Air Lift Program, the AFD EMT Program, and more. He was also the recipient of many honorable awards and recognized by the City of Auburn, Green River Community College, the Public Relations Society of America, the Board of Directors of the Auburn Rotary, the International Association of Fire Fighters, AFD Local 1352, and the King County Fire Officers Training Organization.

Steve was a member of the Hat Island Fire Department as well.

After retirement he was elected to serve as King County Fire District 44 Commissioner. Steve loved the fire service and all those he worked with through the years.

Steve relished collecting Shropshire Light Infantry militaria and was an expert in military history.

He and Merry designed and built their Auburn Family Home and Hat Island Cabin, where family and friends gathered for more than 30 years. They shared a passion for travel and made lifelong memories and friends in 64 countries.

He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years Merry, his cherished sons Mark and Matt and grandsons Colby and Eli, as well as so many beloved extended family members and friends.

Chief Wayne Senter is arranging a donation firefighting scholarship program for Chief Steve Shropshire through the Washington State Fire Chiefs Association.