Galena community supports firefighter who lost his wife

GALENA, Illinois (KWQC) - The Galena Territory Fire Department is rallying around Ben Weimer, whose wife Stacey passed away suddenly last week. The couple has a baby son who was born just five months ago.

Volunteers say they just want Ben to know they're here for him through it all, and they aren't going anywhere.

“It's more than just a commitment to being a fireman, it's a family deal,” said department Lieutenant Dave Tippet.

A call Friday night that every Galena Territory fireman will remember for the rest of their lives, as one of their own lost his wife suddenly.

“It's a shake up to the whole organization, she's part of the group that does envelope stuffing for pork chop suppers - she's there, when we have our Christmas dinner - they're there,” added volunteer, Les Virtue.

Stacey leaves behind Ben and their 5-month-old son, Aiden - and the department says they'll be helping them every chance they can.

“Whether he needs something today, next week, next month, ten years from now - the brotherhood of the fire community is here for him,” said volunteer, Doug Rahden. “We'll do anything that we need to do to help him and Aiden out, we're here for them and we love them.”

Stacey may not have been a firefighter, but she was family - and that's how the department will remember her.

“It doesn't just wake up the firefighter, it wakes up the firefighter's wife and sometimes their family. Whenever the tones would drop Stacey would wake up, too. She wouldn't go back to bed, she would stay awake and wait for Ben to come home safe,” said Rahden. “She would start communicating and texting with my wife, the other wives of our firefighters to make sure everyone was doing okay and everyone got home safe.”

The community is already rallying around the Weimers.

“This is a small, close-knit community. Everybody knows everybody and what's going on, that being said, people are always willing to help,” said Lt. Tippet.

The flooding of support from neighboring towns has already been huge. Volunteers here say the firefighter community really is one big family, they don't want to see a loved one go through this. But, when it happens they're always going to be there.

The cause of Stacey's death is still undetermined. The department has set up donation accounts to help Ben and Aiden.

You can call the Galena Territory Fire Department in order to donate and help the family.

There’s also a bank account set up at Apple River State Bank/Community Bank of Galena. Checks can be mailed to: Apple River State Bank, PO Box 6006, Galena IL 61036. Checks can be made out to, “Ben Weimer’s Benefit Account” or, “Stacey Weimer Memorial Account.

100 percent of the proceeds will be transferred to Ben to support him and Aiden.