Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

Former Gurnee Fire Chief Samuel J. Dada, who was so revered that village leaders named a street after him, died Friday at the age of 91. He started with the department in 1948 when it was a volunteer outfit with three trucks run out of McClure’s Garage and Towing. Six years later, he was Gurnee’s fire chief, a position he held for 35 years.

Beyond his service with the fire department, Dada also was the village superintendent of public works and a building commissioner for a time.

Dada, who had moved to Arkansas, would return for the annual Gurnee Days celebration every year and would spend time talking to old-timers and sharing tales of old Gurnee.

According to a history of the department written by Dada in 1978, the village’s first fire hydrant was installed at Warren High School and was used both for filling the department’s water tanks and for hauling water to residents’ cisterns. He wrote that the department first hired dispatchers in 1958. Before then, daytime calls were answered at McClure’s Garage and nighttime calls went to the homes of firefighters. In 1972, the volunteer fire department disbanded and a professional department was established.

Dada and his wife of 62 years, Corrine, had five children, 15 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.