Randy NelsonEAST ALTON - A man who lived a life of public service and was the Former East Alton Fire Chief - Randy Nelson - died on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. Nelson, 57, was a Roxana High School graduate and also served in the Air Force from 1984 to 1988.

Nelson was a Roxana High graduate and a Fire Protection Specialist in the Air Force. He came back to the area and served as a firefighter at Olin and also a long-time member of the East Alton Fire Department.

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He became a lieutenant in 2000, captain in 2006, and chief in 2012. He retired from the East Alton Fire Department in 2015. He had a bachelor of Science in Fire Service Management and a master's in Fire Service and Homeland Security from SIU Carbondale.

East Alton Fire Department Chief Tim Quigley said Randy Nelson was “one of the best people I know.”

“Randy would give the shirt off his back for anyone,” Quigley said. “Everybody liked Randy."

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Randy was a Fire Science instructor at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. He was very involved in the East Alton Rotary, and received the Paul Harris Award for Service, and IAFF Local 2333 serving as president and vice president.

Quigley said he had known Nelson for a long period and actually took fire service classes over 20 years ago.

"Randy also taught fire service courses throughout the career and he is one of the reasons I am in the fire chief position today because he had trust in me to be fire chief," Quigley said.

In celebration of Randy Nelson's life, a visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Pitchford Funeral Home in Wood River with a Uniformed Personnel Walk Thru at 6 p.m.

Private funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2024, at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Valhalla Memorial Park in Godfrey with full military rites by the Ritual Team of VFW Post 1308.

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