Submitted by His Brother
Bill Grant was a unique person that managed to combine intense kindness with bravery; love with passion; intelligence with action; and loyalty with friendship. Bill was a devoted husband to Sharon‚ a loving father to Kristin‚ Caroline‚ and Danny; he was a devoted son to John and Elizabeth‚ a caring brother‚ a welcome in-law‚ and a truly loyal friend. Billy‚ as his family knew him‚ lived his life to the fullest and he invested all of his energy into his family‚ his career‚ and his friends. He managed to get so many things right in his life‚ and to leave so many good things behind; that he has created a legacy that is truly remarkable.
In 1985‚ Bill applied to the Chicago Fire Academy and he was delighted to learn that he ranked 19th among the three thousand people that applied that year. The next year‚ Bill joined the Chicago Fire Department at the age of 23. Bill served proudly for 21 years and he brought more than his energy and true dedication to his lifelong pursuit as a firefighter. Much has been said about Bill’s valor in a career that included many honors‚ including a City Council citation for helping rescue a bedridden woman from a fully engaged building. Bill was recognized for his bravery by the Chicago City Council‚ the Chicago Fire Department‚ and by community organizations. Bill was also a very creative and imaginative person whose ideas were recognized with a U.S. Patent for one of his lifesaving ideas.
A few years ago‚ the City built a new firehouse for Truck 51 / Engine 84 and they installed a series of small dining tables‚ rather than one large table. Bill believed in the old firehouse tradition ‘One Table‚ One Family’. On his own‚ Bill decided to construct a single table for the firehouse that everyone could sit around. He loved working with his hands and he loved his firehouse. That table is a bit worse-for-ware but it is still in use today and it is a testament to Bill’s brotherhood. Bill would have been honored to hear his brothers at firehouse call him ‘the best of the best’. Bill’s Fire Department Family has said‚ ‘If there was anyone you wanted to cover your back‚ you’d want Billy.’
As Bill’s wife‚ I can tell you that Bill was an amazing man. He was always filled with such exuberance for life‚ and he was always the optimist! There was never a dull moment when Bill was around‚ and the house was always filled with laughter. Bill was a very hands-on dad. He loved to play with our three children and spent as much of his time as he possibly could with us. He loved to tickle and cuddle with his family and Bill is deeply missed. Bill was selfless‚ constantly the giver and helper. He brought humor‚ optimism and his beautiful spirit to all of our lives. I feel very blessed to have had him in my life for 17-years. Billy truly was the Best of the Best.