Former Naperville and Lisle fire official Paul H. Boecker III died Sunday.
He began his career as a firefighter in Naperville in 1952. He rose to the rank of captain with the Naperville Fire Department before leaving to become chief of the Lisle Fire Department in 1971.
He was instrumental in turning the volunteer fire department into a full-time paid fire district during his tenure.
People who knew him said Boecker’s personality was larger than life, and that he put a lot of that passion into the Fire Department.
He guided the Lisle department to where it had five fire stations and more than 80 personnel. The department attained an Insurance Service Office Class 1 designation before he retired in 1994.
During his career he received nine awards of commendation, four awards of merit and the Firefighter of the Year Award in 1993 from the Lisle Fire Protection District.
During the devastating tornado that hit Plainfield in 1990, Boecker was one of 12 recipients of recognition for his leadership during the incident.
In 1983, he was one of two chiefs honored with the Dictography Security Company’s Public Safety Award. He was also awarded the Mason Lankford Fire Service Award.
He served on many regional and national committees throughout his career. He began the Keep the Wreath Red program in 1954 in Naperville which would later be adopted by DuPage County and eventually the state of Illinois.
Read more about Chief Boecker's career HERE.