The Cary Fire Protection District sadly announces the passing of retired Deputy Chief William “Bill” Gitzke. Bill, 76, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, November 15, 2019 surrounded by family.
Born On February 15, 1943 in his parents’ home on West Main Street in Cary to Pete and Jane Gitzke. Bill would become a lifelong resident.
His faith was of utmost importance to him. Bill was an active member of Cary’s St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, where he attended school and was an alter boy.
Bill attended Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. He then went on to attend the electronics and technology program at DeVry University in Chicago. Bill was drafted into the United States Army in 1965; stationed in Germany until he returned home in 1967.
After returning from the Army, Bill married the love of his life, Carol. Together they raised two children, a daughter, Shelly Van Anrooy and son William “Billy” Gitzke.
Bill owned and operated his business, G Communications, where he installed and repaired communications systems for Public Safety Agencies across Illinois. Bill was well known and respected throughout the county for his knowledge of communications equipment.
Bill followed in his father’s footsteps, he became a paid on call member of the Cary Fire Protection District in 1961. After completing Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician training, Bill was promoted multiple times. First to Lieutenant, then Captain, then Assistant Chief and finally Deputy Chief, the department’s second in command.
Being a firefighter was not just a career to him, it was a life long passion. Bill always went above and beyond the call to duty. After serving 51 years, Bill retired from the Cary Fire Protection District in February 2013, becoming the longest serving firefighter in department history. Bill’s love of the fire service continued to be a family tradition when his son, Billy, became the third generation of Gitzke’s to serve the Cary Fire Protection District. Father and son worked side by side for 15 years.
Bill is survived by his wife of 52 years, Carol; Daughter Shelly Van Anrooy; son William (Kelly) Gitzke; seven grandchildren: Brenna and Chase Van Anrooy, Katelyn, Samantha, Grace, Billy and Joey Gitzke; sister Linda (Gary) Verdung and many relatives on both sides of the family.
Bill will receive a full fire department funeral with Honor Guard. Visitation at Kahle-Moore Funeral Home, 403 Silver Lake Road, Cary, IL will be from 4-8 pm on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. There will be a Fire Department walk through at 7 pm. Please be there by 6:45 pm for line up and parking will be located at the Eggville Restaurant located across the street of the funeral home.
Funeral will begin at 10:30 am on Thursday November 21, 2019 at St. Peter and Paul Church, 410 N. First Street, Cary, IL. Please be at the church at 10:00 am for line up. Fire apparatus is welcome and parking will be located in the west side of the parking lot.
Interment will be at St. John’s Cemetery in Fox River Grove, IL.