|Birth: ||Oct. 15, 1935|
|Death: ||Oct. 15, 1989|
Village Mourns Fire Chief's Death; Recall Him As Dedicated Firefighter.
Purple-and-black bunting is draped across Lake Villa's downtown fire station and flags in the village are flying at half-staff this week in memory of Fire Chief Frank Slazes who died in a weekend traffic accident.
As a light rain fell Monday firefighters came in and out of the station house running various errands as they prepared to honor one of only four chiefs who have served the department since its inception in 1933.
"He was a real dedicated firefighter. He gave 110 percent on everything he did. The Fire Department was his life," said Bill Effinger, assistant chief of the department.
The department serves all of Lake Villa Township including Lindenhurst, Lake Miltmore, Venetian Village and Fox Lake Hills.
Slazes began his career on the Lake Villa Volunteer Fire Department on Jan. 5, 1960. Six years later he was promoted to chief engineer and two years after that earned the rank of lieutenant and was appointed drill master for the department.
He became a captain in 1972, assistant chief in 1978 and then chief on Dec. 2, 1986. Slazes was a certified paramedic and emergency medical technician and was also a full-tim firefighter with the Skokie Fire Department beginning in June 1964.
In Skokie, he earned the rank of lieutenant in 1971 and served with the department's Fire Prevention Bureau for six years before being transferred back on the line in 1977. He retired from that department in November 1981.
Robert Streicher, director of the Lake County Building and Zoning Department, where Slazes worked as one of two chief inspectors and the fire inspector, said he would miss the man who worked for him and was part of his wedding party.
"He was probably the most dedicated family man you would ever want to meet and he loved people. I'll miss him here (at work) and as a friend," Streicher said.
Slazes also had the respect of other chiefs from surrounding fire districts who constantly cover and assist each other in fighting fires.
Fox Lake Fire Chief Stuart Hoehne said there had always been a kinship between Slazes and himself, explaining Hoehne has sons on his department and Slazes also had his sons on his force. Frank Slazes Jr. is a captain on the Lake Villa department.
"He ran a good department. They really worked hard at it. He was a good leader," Hoehne said.
Paul Maplethorpe, chief of the Round Lake Area Fire Protection District, said Slazes was both liked and respected by his men.
William Carney, chief of Antioch's Fire Department, said Slazes "took his job serious. He was good to work with at the fire scene."
Slazes was driving a county Zoning Department vehicle north on Route 83 when it was struck by another vehicle that crossed the center line shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday near Petite Lake Road. He turned 54 years old that day.
He is survived by his wife, Betty; daughters, Stacie (Jim) Miller and Nancy; and four sons, Frank Jr., Vincent, Gary and Douglas. Survivors also include his mother, Mary Arline; a brother, Daniel (Mary Lou); and four sisters, Rosemary (Leif) Larson, Jeanette (Elmer) Keisler, Shirley (James) McGrain and Sharon (Karl) Johnson. He was preceded in death his father, Frank Sr., in 1964, who also served as a Lake Villa volunteer firefighter.
A wake was scheduled from 2 to 9 p.m. today in the Ringa Funeral Home, 122 S. Milwaukee Ave., Lake Villa, and a funeral Mass will held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Prince of Peace Church in Lake Villa.
Burial will be at Ascension Cemetery in Green Oaks.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Lake Villa Fire Department in his memory.
Frank Anthony Slazes (1905 - 1964)
Mary Arline Sheehan Slazes (1907 - 1994)
Betty Ann Holmquist Slazes (1936 - 2011)*
Ascension Catholic Cemetery
Plot: Section 7, Block 18, Lot 72, Grave 5
Created by: Suze
Record added: Jun 14, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27544899