Theodore L. Primas

Fire Chief, Theodore L Primas

Theodore Primas was born on December 27, 1924, in Camden, New Jersey, to parents Edward and Hallie Primas.

As of April 1930, the Primas family, comprising sisters Pauline, Gladys, and Garnet, and brothers Melvin and Edward Emmet, resided at 2823 Mitchell Street in East Camden. They continued to live there into the early 1940s.

A graduate of Camden High School from the June 1942 class, Theodore Primas actively participated in baseball, contributing to the Dunbar Athletic Club, which sponsored a prominent amateur team in Camden during the late 1930s and 1940s. Among his teammates was Jerome “Babe” Carpenter. Both individuals joined the Army — Jerome Carpenter in September 1942 and Theodore Primas on July 31, 1943. Unfortunately, Jerome Carpenter lost his life in a training accident in September 1943. Theodore Primas achieved the rank of Sergeant during his military service. Upon completing his Army service, he returned to Camden.

Joining the Camden Fire Department on March 5, 1947, Theodore Primas climbed the ranks, becoming Captain on April 1, 1956, and District Chief on January 31, 1961. He further advanced to Acting Chief of the Camden Fire Department on January 1, 1973, with the position becoming permanent on July 1, 1978.

Chief Primas retired on April 1, 1981. Subsequently, his nephew, Melvin “Randy” Primas, assumed the role of Mayor of Camden after Angelo Errichetti’s resignation following a bribery conviction.

Residing in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Theodore Primas passed away on April 11, 1999. He found his final resting place at Sunset Memorial Park in Pennsauken, New Jersey.


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