South Roxana Fire Department, Village Adminstration, Attempt To Raise Funds To Assist Beloved Chief's Wife
SOUTH ROXANA – South Roxana City Administrator/Police Chief Bob Coles and the South Roxana Fire Department are attempting everything possible to make late Fire Chief Todd Werner’s wife, Sonja, life more comfortable with a fundraiser. The fire department and South Roxana administrators are concerned his wife, Sonja, may have trouble keeping her home and with funeral expenses after losing her husband's income.
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A GoFundMe page has been established by the South Roxana Fire Department for Chief Werner. To contribute, click: https://www.gofundme.com/f/chief-todd-werner-funeral-expenses
Coles also encourages anyone who wants to write a direct check to his wife to send it to Sonja Werner, in care of South Roxana Village Hall, 211 Sinclair, South Roxana, IL., 62087.
Coles attempted to get firefighter death benefits for Werner's wife but was told by the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office that Werner doesn’t qualify. Coles’ contention is that he had been on a fire call just prior to his death, and he should receive them.
“It’s horrible losing the love of her life on their anniversary and now, coupled with financial strains, she is worried about losing her house,” Coles said. “Todd was committed to everybody else, and it is not fair her way of living would be affected this much. Todd was only 48 and for Sonja it is extremely difficult for her to continue functioning in her lifestyle without two incomes. She also had no time to adjust to it.”
The South Roxana Fire Department issued this statement on its GoFundMe page for Todd Werner:
“Our Fire Chief lost his life on Thursday, July 1, 2021, after suffering a cardiac event just four days before. Chief William ‘Todd’ Werner dedicated his entire life to the service of others, his community, his county, and his family were always his top priority. Todd spent 31 years of his life dedicated to first responder services. He spent his professional career serving as a paramedic, and volunteer firefighter.
“In 2013, he was appointed Fire Chief of the South Roxana Fire Department. Todd worked for the Madison County Sheriff’s Department for the last three years after 25 years of service with Alton Memorial Hospital as a Paramedic Supervisor. Todd was a fierce protector of those he loved. Among many close friends and extended family, he leaves behind a wife and three boys. Our department is deeply saddened by the loss of our mentor and Chief.
“In efforts to ease the burden this untimely death has brought upon his family, all funds collected will be used to care for medical expenses and funeral services. While nothing can ease the pain his wife and family are feeling, we can support them in many other ways. He dedicated his life to teaching others to be first responders and saving lives. He embodied the true meaning of selflessness. Please consider helping our department support his family.”