By Jon King /

Former Deputy Chief Charles L. Bidwell of the Brighton Area Fire Department passed away Wednesday. He was 89.

Bidwell was honored when he retired in 2000 for 50 years of fire service to the City of Brighton. He began with the city on September 14, 1950 and spent his entire career with the City of Brighton Fire Department until July 1, 1998, when it merged with the Brighton Township Fire Department to form the Brighton Area Fire Department.

Bidwell was retired from the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford and held the position of Deputy Chief since 1988. He was named the City of Brighton's Firefighter of the Year in 1987, and was selected as Michigan's Firefighter of the Year in 2000.

According to a Facebook post by the Brighton Area Fire Authority, Bidwell was "instrumental in the community and the building of Fire Station 31 (Bidwell Station)" and "in the lives of many firefighters, serving as a mentor and leader over his career."

One of those firefighters, Steve Moor, posted that Bidwell “defined the word integrity. It was an honor and privilege to serve under his leadership.”

Details on funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.