Firefighter James Arter, Jr.
Loudoun County Fire Rescue
Date of Death: December 26, 2017
Years of Service: 14
Duty Status: Active
James Edward Arter, Jr. “J.R.”, was the son of James and Crystal Arter, Sr. of Orrtanna, PA. He was the husband of Jesi Arter, of Biglerville, PA to whom he married on August 27, 2016, and the loving father of his daughter, Payton.
J.R. worked as a Loudoun County, Virginia Career Firefighter. He started his firefighting career at the age of 14 with the Buchanan Valley Fire Department where he rose to rank of Captain. In his youth he was a member of Boy Scout Troop 162 in Cashtown and went on to earn the Order of the Arrow and his Eagle Scout award. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and was a huge football fan, especially the Texas Longhorns.
He also enjoyed bar crawls, hanging out at the American Legion, and four wheeling. When at the Legion, he would seek out the oldest guy at the bar and talk to him. He would say, “you can really learn something from the older fellas if you just listen.” He intensely followed the stock market, enjoyed being outside, running, dancing, drinking Miller lite, going to Raystown lake in PA and spending time with his daughter and wife.
According to his wife, “He had a smile that would light up a room and a contagious shit eating grin which would make his nose crinkle. There are so many things that come to mind to describe the kind of man he was. But unfortunately, there isn’t enough paper or time to do that.”
In the 29 short years he was here he lived life to the fullest. Maybe it was his personality, or his career, but nonetheless he lived. He had a good time wherever he went and didn’t care what anyone thought of him. His energy was contagious to anyone in his presence. His heart was huge, and he loved fiercely. He always wanted to take care of people.
The fire service was in his blood. His heart and soul went into saving countless lives and helping complete strangers when they were at their worst. He was all work at work and when he came home, he was at home. He had just recently passed his Technician’s exam shortly before his death and was up for promotion. The fire service will miss his devotion to his community.