BULL VALLEY – Even after he became sick in April, longtime Bull Valley Police Chief Norbert Sauers continue to lead his department every day.
Shelly Sauers, his oldest daughter, said her father was a “very caring man, very loving and very dedicated to his family.”
“He was a great friend to everybody,” she said. “He put everybody’s needs before his own, even to the very end.”
Sauers died this weekend from complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 58.
Sauers has been the police chief since 1982 and helped build the police department from the ground up.
He had been undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer for the past couple of months but continued to work, Village President Ron Parrish said. He died Saturday at Centegra Hospital – Woodstock.
“Everybody just admires the man,” Parrish said.
“He’s so dedicated, and he’s just been a stalwart figure in our community for so many years,” Parrish said. “It’s hard to believe he’s gone on.”
Despite his illness, Sauers came to work every day and his strong will kept him going, Parrish said.
“He’s so tough and determined. We all thought that if anybody had a chance to beat this, he did,” Parrish said.
The village is working on a plan to fill the chief’s position.
Assistant Police Chief Roger Szewczyk is hospitalized. The village has outlined a two-week contingency plan with the help of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office until Szewczky recovers.
In 2005, Sauers was honored for his lifesaving efforts by the county police chiefs association. He was on patrol Sept. 13, 2004, when he responded to the home of Carolyn Cox, who was badly beaten and left in a garage where car engines were running and the doors were closed and disabled.
Doctors told Cox she was minutes away from dying when Sauers found her. He received a special medal for the honor, which he wore with his police uniform.
“He only had the one [medal]. He deserved many more, and he only had the one for saving Carolyn’s life,” Parrish said.
Sauers was president of the Stickney House Foundation that helps restore the house that also is home to the police department. He also was director of the State of Illinois Local Government Health Board.
Aside from his public roles, Sauers was known for his sense of humor.
“He liked to play practical pranks,” said Shelly Sauers, 40, of Crystal Lake. “He loved Halloween and dressing up. He’d sit on the porch and wait to scare the kids. It was fun times.”
“We will carry him in our hearts forever,” she said.
Sauers is survived by his wife, Brenda, seven children and 10 grandchildren.
The visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Schneider-Leucht-Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home in Woodstock. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Woodstock.