Peoria Firefighters, family and friends of 54-year-old Captain Gary Stauthammer are saying farewell and honoring his life and service.
Stauthammer was a 28-year member of the Peoria Fire Department. He started as a rookie firefighter in 1989.
Peoria Fire Chief Chuck Lauss says Captain Stauthammer spent a number of years working in the hazardous material division handling hazmat inspections.
“He coordinated the hazmat program, did a lot of things that enhanced changed, made better the program. But it all came to making sure that things were safe for his fellow firefighter and his community,” Lauss said.
Captain Stauthammer’s death is service related. There are 13 cancers recognized as service-related based on certain smoke and chemical exposure firefighters experience.
Chief Lauss says the fire department will surround the Stauthammer family. “We have from the onset of Gary’s illness. And we will for the rest of time. We're going to be there because it’s family.”
The chief says Stauthammer’s firefighter-family will also remember the Captain for his sense of humor and unparalleled ability with a practical joke.
Services for Captain Gary Stauthammer are at First United Methodist Church 116 NE Perry Avenue Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with the funeral to start at 10:30 a.m.
The full visitation Friday night included a firefighter walk-through at 6:00 p.m. Firefighters from other locations throughout the state are supporting Peoria Fire Stations during the Stauthammer’s funeral services.
Peoria Central Fire House engine bays are draped in bunting as is 12 House where Stauthammer is said to have enjoyed working most.