ROXANA, Ill. – Area first responders paid their respects to the family of South Roxana Fire Chief Todd Werner during a visitation Friday in Roxana.
A line of first responders walked through the Roxana Church of the Nazarene Theatre to honor Werner’s service and to offer comfort to his family.
South Roxana Fire Chief William “Todd” Werner suffered a heart attack at the age of 48. He died just days after responding to a call.
Friends say he was a dedicated public servant for 31 years in various roles with several different departments, including the Madison County Sheriff’s Office where he served as a telecommunicator.
“He dedicated his entire life to public service,” South Roxana Police Chief Bob Coles said.
Funeral services will be held at the Roxana Church of the Nazarene Saturday at 10 a.m. Friends have organized a Gofundme to help with expenses.
“He gave his whole life to everybody, it’s time for everyone to start helping him out a little,” Coles said.
He said if anyone wants to write a check to Werner’s wife, Sonja Werner, they can mail it to the South Roxana Village Hall, 211 Sinclair, South Roxana, IL 62097.
Coles recalled Werner needed to start putting his multiple pins and accommodations for saving lives in a bucket because he ran out of room.
“He would never complain,” Coles said.
The manager of the South Roxana American Legion said Werner was a regular visitor and was known for picking up the tab for his fellow first responders.
“He was just super guy and would do anything for anybody,” Missy Burke said. “He’s going to be greatly missed.”
Coles said, “His loss is a void we’re not going to be able to replace.”