Excerpts from the Illinoishomepage.net

There was no limit to the things people had to say about Rusty Chism, but the main sentiment is they will miss him. Chism served on the Urbana and St. Joseph fire departments. He passed away last week after battling a rare form of cancer.Tuesday’s services were emotional. People laughed when they talked about some of their favorite memories, but some were also somber, remembering a life they say was taken too soon. Before his funeral even started, the community of St. Joseph started getting ready for Rusty Chism’s last trip through town.

People say they’ll remember him most for being caring and compassionate. Chism took pride in his job as St. Joe’s fire chief and the Urbana department’s division chief. But, they say he always knew how to have a good time.

One last time the fire bell rang for Chism, signalling the end of his shift.

So the people of St. Joseph stood strong, waiting for his fire truck to drive through. For a community as closely knit as this, people say the loss is a big one, but they’re grateful for all they’ve gained from knowing Chism.

Chism started as a volunteer firefighter in St. Joseph 30 years ago and worked his way up from there. His friends say he was a great leader and mentor to younger firefighters.

The St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Department has been busy for the 30-years Chism worked there. One of the biggest events was a fire at the high school’s bus garage in June 2011. The department responded to more than 400 calls for service last year.

 The funeral procession for Chief Rusty Chism passes by METCAD 9-1-1