Retired Van Buren Fire Chief David Cameron McInally, 77, died May 1 at St. Joseph's Hospital due to complications from COVID-19 impacted by other health conditions.
Mr. Cameron was born March 13, 1943 to Aubrey and Esther McInally.
He graduated from Mandeville High School in 1961 and went on to attend Alma College. He lived in Rankin from his birth until the age of 45. During that time he worked in the family business (McInally's Hardware and Gift Shop), at MetLife, and for Mundy Township as a building inspector.
Mr. McInally was a volunteer firefighter on the Mundy Township Fire Department for more than 25 years, serving as the fire chief for a majority of those years. In 1988, he relocated with his family to Van Buren Township, when he accepted a dual fire chief and building director position with Van Buren Township, becoming the first full-time fire chief in the township.. He retired from fire service in 1991 after 29 years, but continued on as the Van Buren Township Director of Developmental Services until retiring from Van Buren in 1997.
In addition to his stellar career in the public sector, he taught firefighting and fire prevention classes throughout his life.
In 2014, Mr. McInally suffered a debilitating stroke and resided in a nursing facility until his death.
“We've lost one of our public safety family members, please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” said Van Buren Township Director of Public Safety Gregory M. Laurain.
“McInally was instrumental in the building department. He helped enhance and expand township hall during his career. As fire chief, he was a great leader and man. It's been exciting to watch his son also become a Van Buren fireman and now Fire Marshall at the township. David McInally II has followed in his father's footsteps with great leadership and professionalism,” said Township Treasurer Sharry Budd.
“Cameron was a hard worker and was happiest when he had a lot going on. I had the pleasure of working with Cameron not only representing the township supervisor but also on the DDA when it was first established. He brought a lot of innovative ideas to the community and it was easy to see he really cared about Van Buren,” said DDA Executive Director Susan Ireland.
Mr. McInally is survived by his five children, Ann Marie Schwieman, JD (nee McInally) of Grand Blanc, Linda Simons (nee McInally) of Grand Blanc, David Cameron McInally II of Van Buren Township, Heather McInally also of Van Buren Township, (“the favorite”), and Rebecca D'Estes of Lo de Marcos, Mexico; a son-in-law, Eric Simons; a daughter-in-law, Susan McInally, and four grandchildren, Grant Klingler, Jacob Simons, Ashley McInally, and Emily McInally.
Mr. McInally was preceded in death by his parents.
His family expressed their gratitude to the staff at Regency at Canton, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, and U-of-M Hospital Ann Arbor for the exceptional care they provided during Mr. McInally's final days.
A private funeral for his immediate family members was planned at Sharp Funeral Homes in Linden. A gathering will take place at a later date in Belleville so that all Mr. McInally's friends and family can meet to remember him and celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers, donations to Feed the Frontlines Detroit would be appreciated (http://feedthefrontlinesdetroit.com).