Lansing honors former Fire Chief Ralph Schauer

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (May 8, 2020) – The funeral service for Ralph J. Schauer, former Fire Chief of Lansing, was held at Schroeder Lauer Funeral Home on Thursday, May 7. Though Schauer served in the Lansing Fire Department for four decades, the service was private because of COVID-19 concerns.

Still, members of the Lansing Fire Department and Lansing Police Department, along with representatives from the fire departments of surrounding communities, turned out to publicly honor Schauer while maintaining social distance.

Outside Schroeder Lauer Funeral Home, fire and police vehicles lined up along Walter Street in preparation for a procession that would escort the casket of Fire Chief Schauer to Holy Cross Cemetery. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Family members served as pallbearers. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Two ladder trucks had been positioned with their ladders crossing Burnham Avenue near Fire Station 29. A raised flag honored Chief Schauer’s 40 years of service to his community. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
It was trucks from South Holland, Illinois (left), and Munster, Indiana, that raised the flag, allowing members of the Lansing Fire Department to be part of the procession. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
In full gear, firefighters await the arrival of the procession. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The fire service is a para-military organization, and many of the funeral traditions resemble military customs. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
A small crowd had gathered to pay respects during the procession, including Mayor Patty Eidam, Village Administrator Dan Podgorski, Trustees Maureen Grady-Perovich and Mike Fish, and Public Works Director Gary Richardson, as well as representatives from neighboring fire departments. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The procession was led by Engine 30, which was the last vehicle purchased by Schauer while he was Fire Chief. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The hearse bearing Chief Schauer’s casket paused for a few moments under the flag. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Members of the Lansing Fire Department, positioned outside of Fire Station 29, held their salute throughout the procession. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Lansing Fire Chief Ralph Schauer was 88 at the time of his passing. He served in the Lansing Fire Department from 1961–2001, serving as Chief from 1970–2001.

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