Town honors 'Cap'
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Lehighton Mayor Donald Rehrig speaks during dedication program in memory of the late Wilbur "Cap" Bauchspies. Seated, front l-r, are Bessie Bauchspies, the widow of the honoree; State Senator John Yudichak, State Representative Doyle Heffley, former State Representative Keith McCall; back l-r, Lehighton Chief of Police Neil Ebbert, Lehighton Borough Manager Nicole Beckett, and Rev. Chris DeForest, who is seated behind McCall.
For 28 years, the late Wilbur "Cap" Bauchspies led the Lehighton Police Department as its mayor.
Yesterday, Bauchspies was given permanent identity with the department, when the police headquarters was dedicated to his memory and officially named the "Wilbur A. 'Cap' Bauchspies Borough of Lehighton Police Station."
"The symbol of Lehighton borough's strength is named after Wilbur Cap Bauchspies," remarked State Senator John Yudichak.
The senator said there was "no stronger supporter for Lehighton borough than Cap."
Bauchspies died on May 13, 2009, at the age of 81. At the time of his death, he was a member of Lehighton Borough Council.
In addition to serving as the mayor for nearly three decades, he was also a councilman for 12 years.
His wife, Bessie Bauchspies, who proudly sat in the front row with the program dignitaries, is presently a borough council member.
At the program's conclusion, she humbly thanked those who attended.
She and family members also hosted a luncheon for the program participants afterwards at the Lehighton American Legion Post.
Other speakers at the dedication were State Rep. Doyle Heffley, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Keith McCall, Lehighton Chief of Police Neil Ebbert, Lehighton Mayor Donald Rehrig, and Lehighton Borough Manager Nicole Beckett.
Heffley shared some memories of Bauchspies. He also recalled that the building housing the police station was the old Engine Company No. 2 building, and how the borough's Recreation Center used to be located on the second floor of he structure.
The borough converted the building into the police station thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development.
The police moved into the headquarters in June 2011. Before this, they were located in cramped quarters of the Lehighton Municipal Building.
"The borough is a better place because of the leadership of Cap Bauchspies." McCall said. "I don't think there was a venue in this community that I attended that Cap wasn't there. He represented the community diligently for years. I came out of retirement to be here and celebrate - what I consider to be a great community, a great family, and a great person."
The police chief said he personally knew Bauchspies and his greatest passions were his family and the borough.
He noted that the late mayor would often speak to the police officers about the benefits of eating garlic.
Another thing Bauchspies was noted for was trapping skunks throughout the community, and releasing them into the wild. Ebbert said there were incidents in which Bauchspies got sprayed by the skunks.
Mayor Rehrig termed it "very fitting" to name the station after Bauchspies considering all the dedication and commitment of his late predecessor.
Seven members of the Lehighton Police Department took part.
The United Veterans Organization honor guard also was part of the program.
After the dedication, the police officers provided tours of the new police station.