William “Todd” Werner was born September 9, 1972, in Carlinville, Illinois, the son of Josie and William “Bill” Sparks. He married the love of his life, Sonja (Krotz), on August 26, 2006; she survives, along with their three sons, Christopher, Devin, and Austin Moore. Todd passed away on July 1, 2021, after being declared brain dead as a result of a massive heart attack suffered within hours of leaving the scene of a call on June 27, 2021.
Todd dedicated his entire life to the service of others. He was a man of true character and integrity who wanted better for his community. He began his career as a first responder as a teenager, starting out in a Police Explorer program for Bethalto Police Department, and continued this path working as a police officer for multiple agencies, including South Roxana Police Department and National City Police Department. He worked as a paramedic for agencies including Abbott Ambulance and Alton Memorial Hospital. After 25 years of working on the ambulance, he became a telecommunicator for Madison County Sheriff’s Office, where he worked at the time of his passing. Todd served in the fire service for 31 years. He proudly served for National City, Fosterburg, and Cottage Hills before coming to South Roxana Fire Department in 1996, where he worked his way through the ranks, becoming chief in 2013 and serving in that role until his death.
Todd served as a trustee for the Village of South Roxana and Choteau Township and as a member of the Madison County Emergency Management Association, among many other groups and organizations. Todd had many accomplishments and awards bestowed upon him over the years of service but was never boastful. Fellow firefighters remembered times where, without hesitation, he returned to the scene of an EMS to call to help an elderly man by mowing his yard or repairing a porch because it was unsafe. He had the uncanny ability to make everyone laugh and feel comfortable. In the worst of times, he was the calm in the storm. Todd’s final act of service was to be an organ donor to continue helping others even after he was gone. He embodied the true meaning of selflessness and touched the lives of many, dedicating his life to teaching others and saving lives.
His love of service holds no candle to his love for his wife, his boys, and his extended family. He loved being a dad, an uncle, a son, a brother, and a husband to Sonja. His true dedication to his family was untouchable. His legacy, life, and the gifts he shared with his community will continue to be celebrated and honored.