Chuck Stenger was Battalion Chief in Rockton Fire Department


Chuck Stenger had a degree in electrical engineering and worked as a senior lab engineer, but his second love was the Rockton Fire Protection District, where he became a battalion chief. 

Chuck passed away on September 27, 2022 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

His wife says, "Chuck had a passion for the medical field and began to take classes towards becoming an EMT/paramedic, outside of his day job." In August 1986, they built their home and moved to Rockton specifically because it was a good area for volunteering as an EMT. "It has been our home 36 years," she says. 

The Rockton Fire Protection District says Chuck "played a very intricate part with the inception of the fire district ambulance in the early 1990s. He was extremely dedicated and committed to training new and current members of the district ensuring they were properly educated to current standards." 

Chuck moved up the ranks and served as battalion chief until he was no longer able to participate. He made many lifelong friends in the fire department, who say, "Chuck poured his heart and soul into the fire service and was always there when called upon." Even after he stepped down from leadership. he taught CPR and first aid to both members and community. He was also a dedicated leader of the Rockton Firemens Association for many years.

Charles (Chuck) Howard Stenger was born on April 3, 1950. His parents, Herbert and L. Verrell (Moring) Stenger provided a loving home for Chuck, Michael and Sandra in Rockford. As the youngest, Chuck looked up to his brother and sister over the years.

Chuck graduated from West High School in 1968 and first attended Rock Valley College.  At 16, Chuck had become an apprentice at Barber-Colman, where he worked for forty years after graduating from Bradley University with a degree in electrical engineering. His division eventually became part of GE Aviation. He retired on April 1, 2013.

Chuck met Barb Kitchen in 1968 and they were married on October 2, 1976, at Beth Eden United Methodist Church, which had been Barb's home church and became his as well. They lived in Rockford, near their families and friends. They rejoiced when Rebecca (Becky) Megan was born in 1978, followed by daughter Carrie Elizabeth in 1980. 

Over the years Chuck enjoyed fishing trips with his dad and brother ("although he didn't particularly care for fishing," says Barb), as well as hunting. His father was a charter member of Kepotah Sportsman Club, and later Chuck became a member. It was a place for Chuck to hang out and play cribbage and make many wonderful friends.

He is survived by his wife Barbara Ann (Kitchen) Stenger, daughter Rebecca M. (Stenger) Quirk,
husband Kevin Quirk, grandchildren Abigail Ann, Liam Braydon, and Nolan Michael Quirk, daughter Carrie Elizabeth (Stenger) Gascoigne, husband Sean Gascoigne, grandchildren Caleb Reagan and Bella Grace Gascoigne. Family members include brother Michael Stenger, (Marie), their children Michelle (Mickey Stenger) Schiller, husband Christian Schiller, Melissa (Stenger), husband Guillermo and Matthew Stenger, wife Katie (Flanagan), half brother, Ronald H Stenger Jones (Janet). Nephews on the Stenger side include William Jarvis Ross and Joshua Ross (Jessica). On the Kitchen side: sister-in-laws are Beverly Hopkins (JoAnne), Marsha Bailey, Judy (Scott) Shannon, children Riley and Keira. Brother-in-laws are Bill (Dianna) Kitchen, children Jamie (Lara) Kitchen, Ashley (Ryan) Mohr and Roger Kitchen, daughter Alicia Kitchen. Great nieces and nephews are also included.

Chuck is preceded in death by his parents Herbert and Verrell Stenger, sister and brother-in-law Sandra (Dee) and Phillip Ross, in-laws William and Norma Kitchen, and niece Megan Elizabeth Kitchen.

His wife Barb says, "Although Chuck will be dearly missed by all still here, God brought him home to be at peace, made whole in spirit, no more pain and no more tears...just joy."

A visitation and memorial ceremony will be held on Friday, October 14, 2022, at 10 a.m., with service following at 11 a.m. in the McCorkle Funeral Home-Rockton Chapel, 767 N Blackhawk Blvd, Rockton, Illinois with Pastor Brett Todd officiating. For firefighters, there will be a 10:55 a.m. uniform walkthrough. Cremation rites were accorded. Final resting place will be Rockton Township Cemetery, though there will be no public graveside service. All are invited to join the family for a luncheon following the service at the American Legion in Rockton, 221 W Main Street. Parking is available in the back, but not enough room for fire apparatus, unfortunately.

Memorial funds can be given to support The Parkinson's Foundation or to Special Olympics IIlinois.

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