Gov. Rick Snyder lowers flags to honor firefighter William Russell Wiita

Friday, Sept. 12, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today ordered U.S. flags within the state Capitol Complex and on all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff on Monday Sept. 15 in honor of William Russell Wiita, assistant fire chief at Coldsprings-Excelsior Fire and Rescue, who died in the line of duty on Monday, Sept. 8.

Wiita, 47, of Kalkaska, died after responding to an emergency call in Excelsior Township. “Courageous first responders like William risk their lives daily to protect our communities and state,” said Snyder. “On behalf of all Michiganders, I thank William for his years of dedicated service and extend sincere condolences to his family, friends and community.”

A Minnesota native, Witta previously worked at Double Edge Steel Co. in Dearborn prior to moving to Kalkaska.  

Visitation is today, Friday, Sept.12 at Kalkaska Funeral Home from 6-8 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13 at the CETA Hall, 6615 County Road 612 N.E., Kalkaska.

This flag order is in accordance with Executive Order 2013-10. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff. Flags should be returned to full-staff on Tuesday, Sept.16.

When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the U. S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.