GLEN ELLYN – Longtime Glen Ellyn Fire Chief Stu Stone is being remembered for his love of Glen Ellyn.
"He was a very busy guy who was doing things for the community all the time," said longtime friend Scott Willsey, owner of Barone's of Glen Ellyn.
Stone died Feb. 4 after a prolonged illness. He was 74.
Stone also was the former publisher of the Glen Ellyn News, now the Glen Ellyn Suburban Life. He became publisher after the death of his father and continued in that role until the paper was sold in 1999.
He was a frequent customer at Barone's, which is down the street from the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company's station one. The Glen Ellyn News' former office was across the street from Barone's.
"He was a regular customer," Willsey said. "We became close friends over the years."
In recognition of his many contributions to the village, Stone was named as the grand marshal of the 2016 Glen Ellyn Fourth of July Parade. Those contributions included playing Santa Claus every year as part of the annual Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce Holiday Walk.
Over the years, Stone received many honors, including being named the Glen Ellyn chamber's Man of the Year and Glen Ellyn Jaycees' Citizen of the Year and Fireman of the Year. The chamber gave Stone the Chamber Man of the Year Award in 1977 and made him a lifetime board director.
"He just had a heart of gold," chamber Executive Director Dawn Smith said. "He was a well-respected, community-oriented man."
The chamber intends to honor him at a later date, Smith said.
Stone joined the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company when he was 21 years old and served as chief from 1978 to 2001, following in the footsteps of his dad. He was a member of the fire company for 53 years.
Company Capt. Bill Miller, a 35-year veteran of the department, said he is thankful for Stone's leadership. He also knew Stone through being an employee of the Glen Ellyn News for 22 years.
"You knew where you stood with Stuart Stone," Miller said. "If he gave you grief, it's because he cared."
Stone also had a love for Glen Ellyn, he said.
"That stood out working for him," Miller said. "He belonged to so many different organizations. He also enjoyed cooking steaks for organizations. I was part of a group with him called Stu's Crew."
Visitation services will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 9 and 3 to 9 p.m. Feb. 10 at Leonard Memorial Home, 565 Duane St., Glen Ellyn. A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Feb. 11 at Parkview Community Church, 764 St. Charles Road, Glen Ellyn.
In lieu of flowers, donations are being requested to the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 460, Glen Ellyn, IL 60138 or to the Salvation Army, 1-800-SAL-ARMY, donatesalvationarmyusa.org.