| By Bob Weaver|
Former longtime Fire Chief of the Spencer-Roane Volunteer Fire Department died
Friday morning at Roane General Hospital. Dr. Granville H. Lance, 71, gave more
to his community than any man I have known.
The retired dentist was a buzz saw of activity, day and night, volunteering as a
firemen since his high school days. He was currently working as a part-time 911
He loved fire service and became one of the region's excellent fire fighting
instructors. Serving in several capacities, he devoted thousands of hours to
hundreds of community efforts, including his devotion to local sports. He always
showed up. Like all doers, he would sometimes be embodied in controversy, with
little doubt on where he stood on any issue.
When snow fell in the 60's decade, Granville would rise and go to the fire station to
chain the pumper trucks, just in case. His life was placed on the thin line many times
over the years, once falling through the floor of a burning bathroom to severely cut
his hand, threatening his dental career.
When I moved to Spencer in 1961, he was among the first people I met, and we
have been friends all these years. I moved to Spencer to help put WSPZ Radio
(now WVRC) on the air, and he became the voice of the Spencer High Yellow
Jackets. I could never keep up with him, nor could anyone else. We had some
adventuresome times, great laughs, and the stories would go on for hours.
A few weeks ago I spent a few hours with him at the fire station. He was still full of
enthusiasm and spoke with endless detail about the fire equipment and what needed
to be done next. He had that "steel trap" mind, while annoying to some, allowed him
to perform with excellence.
Granville was among several young people in the 60's who would stay up all hours
of the night trying to come up with projects to help Spencer and Roane County. It
was an eclectic bunch, businessmen and citizens from different political groups, who
helped bring Spencer and Roane County to the forefront. They never seemed to
Between practicing dentistry, Granville answered thousands of fire, medical and
rescue calls in the community. I am hopeful the newer generation of Roane citizens
will be aware of his body of work spanning over 50 years.
Granville has slowed down in death for a deserved rest.
I am grateful for his longtime dedication and support as a friend, and will miss his