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Obituary: Lisle-Woodridge Fire Chief Emeritus Paul H. Boecker

Fire district pioneer died Sunday. Visitation is scheduled Thursday; funeral is Friday.

A former Lisle-Woodridge Fire Chief who was instrumental in the development of the fire district has died. 

Fire Chief Emeritus Paul H. Boecker died Aug. 14, according to a release from the .

Boecker served as chief of the district from 1971 to 1994. During that time, he was instrumental in turning the department from a volunteer fire department to one with full-time, paid positions.

Under his guidance, the district expanded to five fire stations, more than 80 personnel and an ISO (Insurance Service Office) Class I designation before his retirement.

“Chief Boecker’s personality was larger than life and he utilized that to the advantage of the fire district,” the release said.

Boecker started his career with the Naperville Fire District in 1952. He started the “Keep the Wreath Red” program in 1954, which was later recognized in the county and state. Fire departments replace one red bulb on a holiday wreath with a white one for every fire that occurs as the result of holiday decorations.

He received nine awards of Commendation, four Awards of Merit, the district Firefighter of the Year Award in 1993 and Woodridge Employee of the Year.

Boecker was one of two chiefs honored with the Dictograph Security Company Public Safety Award in 1983. He was one of 12 recipients of recognition for his efforts following the Plainfield tornado in 1990. Boecker also received the Mason Lankford fire service award, named after a personal friend of his.

According to the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District, Boecker served on several committees both regionally and nationally. He served as a charter member of the Educational Research Foundation for the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association (he also served as president in 1980), field instructor for the Illinois Fire Service Institute and chairman of the Illinois Fire College from 1972-1996.

Visitation services will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church (1101 Kimberly Way) will be held Thursday from 2 to 9 p.m., with a fire department walk through at 7 p.m., and Friday from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Funeral services begin at 11 a.m.

Boecker is survived by his wife, Sonja (Sinclair), his sister Ann S. Bocker of Naperville, his son Paul H. Boecker III and his wife Nancy (Martin) of Yorkville, son Alex J. Boecker and wife Krissie (Kegally) of Westmont, and three grandchildren.

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