Four decades later, a hero is honored

Po­lice Lt. Ed­ward C. Dohr­mann suffered a fatal heart at­tack in 1969 after re­spond­ing to a car ac­ci­dent in Holmes­burg. Last week, a plaque ded­ic­a­tion paid trib­ute to his ser­vice.

Po­lice Lt. Ed­ward C. Dohr­mann, as­signed to the ac­ci­dent in­vest­ig­a­tion di­vi­sion, was on duty on April 13, 1969 when he re­spon­ded to the scene of an ac­ci­dent at State Road and Pennypack Street in Holmes­burg.

Dohr­mann helped a res­cue crew re­move a trapped mo­tor­ist, went on to com­plete his shift, and then re­turned to his home near 60th and Re­gent streets in South­w­est Phil­adelphia.

ldquo;I re­mem­ber he came home and said, ‘Boy, what a day,’” re­called his wife Win­nie. “I knew he didn’t feel well.”

Dohr­mann went to his bed­room, and his daugh­ter Joanne brought his din­ner up­stairs. He later col­lapsed, and his wife said the Act of Con­tri­tion.

The lieu­ten­ant died of a heart at­tack. It was at­trib­uted to the ex­treme phys­ic­al ex­er­tion re­quired dur­ing the res­cue earli­er on that spring Sunday.

ldquo;I know he’s in heav­en be­cause he helped someone,” his wife said.

Last week, more than 42 years after Dohr­mann’s death, he was honored with a plaque ded­ic­ated at the Phil­adelphia Po­lice Academy, not too far from the scene of the ac­ci­dent.

Dohr­mann, an 11-year vet­er­an of the po­lice de­part­ment, was 42 when he died. Be­sides his wife and daugh­ter, he was sur­vived by two oth­er daugh­ters, Eileen and Lynne, and sons Ed­ward, Dav­id and John. The chil­dren ranged in age from 3 to 13. Ed­ward has since passed away.

The plaque was ded­ic­ated on Oct. 12 dur­ing an in­door ce­re­mony at­ten­ded by, among oth­ers, Dis­trict At­tor­ney Seth Wil­li­ams, Deputy Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Richard Ross and mem­bers of the po­lice academy’s class 359. Eliza­beth Wendel was the cit­izen spon­sor.

The plaque was placed out­doors, on grass and un­der trees.

The ded­ic­a­tion was the 103rd for a fallen Phil­adelphia po­lice of­ficer and 11th this year. In all, 243 plaques have been ded­ic­ated to po­lice of­ficers and fire­fight­ers who’ve died in the line of duty in the Phil­adelphia area.

The pro­gram is a part­ner­ship between at­tor­ney James J. Binns and Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5.

The ce­re­mony in­cluded an in­voc­a­tion, be­ne­dic­tion and the Pledge of Al­le­gi­ance. A bu­gler played Taps; the Phil­adelphia Po­lice and Fire Pipes and Drums offered Amaz­ing Grace.

ldquo;It was a won­der­ful ce­re­mony. It was amaz­ing,” Win­nie Dohr­mann said.

“It was a very nice trib­ute,” Lynne Camp­isi said.

Camp­isi was 12 when her fath­er died. She re­mem­bers him quit­ting smoking so he could save money to buy his chil­dren milk. He taught his old­est two sons hunt­ing-safety.

“He was a gentle gi­ant,” she said. “He cried at his wed­ding.”

Eileen Dohr­mann was 8 when her fath­er died. She is saddened that he nev­er got to see his chil­dren grow up and meet their spouses, his 15 grand­chil­dren and 10 great-grand­chil­dren (with three more on the way).

“He served with hon­or and pride,” she said. “He’s our hero in heav­en.” ••

Any­one in­ter­ested in spon­sor­ing a hero plaque can con­tact James Binns at 215-275-3000.

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­

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