ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Dozens of Stateliners are honoring Rockford's late alderman Bill Robertson tonight. Robertson served as Rockford’s fire chief for 17 years and most recently on city council.
He passed away last weekend after a lengthy battle with cancer. His visitation will continue until 8 o'clock tonight and a funeral will be held Friday morning at 10 a.m.
UPDATE: Funeral Arrangements are now in place for Rockford's 14th ward alderman and former fire chief, Bill Robertson. The local leader lost his battle with cancer this weekend.
A visitation will be held Thursday from 4-8 p.m. and the funeral will be at 10 a.m. on Friday at Zion Lutheran Church in downtown Rockford.
A lunch will follow at the local IBEW.
Fire stations across the Stateline lowered flags at half staff in honor of Robertson.
Flags outside Rockford fire stations are flying at half-staff tonight as the community mourns the death of Bill Robertson, our city's 14th ward alderman and retired fire chief.
"He's a very kind man," said 10th Ward Alderman Frank Beach. "He always had the community at heart."
Alderman Bill Robertson has called Rockford home all his life. After 17 years as chief of the city's fire department, and nearly four years as 14th ward alderman, some say he always kept our safety in mind.
"He's a very, very good friend," said Beach. "Loved by almost everyone that knew him. And he was consistent. And his employees that worked underneath his leadership absolutely respected him for the way that he cared for each one of them."
For over 35 years, Bill Robertson roamed the halls of the Rockford Fire Department, and for 17 years served as chief. His influence is still felt to this day.
District chief Greg Castronovo says it was apparent how much Robertson cared for the department while he served as chief.
"It was a great relationship with the firefighters," said Castronovo. "It wasn't just that he served in the chief capacity. He was a personable individual. Relationships that he made on this department lasted into his retirement into his tenure as alderman."
Castronovo marvels at alderman Robertson's golfing ability, and said he never was able to beat the man in a game.
Many say he will be missed.
"I think you're losing a man of integrity," said 1st Ward Alderman Timothy Durkee. "An honest man. An honorable man. And you don't replace people like that.You learn from them."
We also spoke with Alderman Bill Timm. He told us Robertson was a great man and someone to admire. He said he will miss one of the nicest men he's ever known.
Right now funeral arrangements are pending.