It is Thursday, Dec. 19 at 10:17 p.m., and I’m sitting at the computer putting together my column for next week — early deadline due to Christmas — and I check the inbox one more time only to see an email from Fire Chief Matt Buckley.
Before I even opened it, I knew what it would say. Deputy Fire Chief Bill Sherman had passed away today. It was anticipated but still hard to believe. Bill had fought his battle with cancer as he had lived his life, with courage and dignity.
Bill was a lifelong Riversider and, as one also born and raised here, we had much in common. I enjoyed talking to him about Riverside history and sharing stories that we remembered about our village.
When I had a question about Harrington Park, Bill was one of the first to come to my aid with the story. It led to several phone calls back and forth as we recalled things. He was a treasure trove of Riverside history and lore, and because of that this year he was named an honorary member of the Riverside Historical Commission
Sherman was recognized for his many contributions, including his years of service on the fire department, when he was named 2019 Person of the Year by the Riverside Township Lions Club.
The selection of Bill for the honor was an easy and popular choice, which was evidenced by the number of people who attended the dinner in his honor at the Riverside Golf Club.
As Person of the Year one of his duties was to be in the Fourth of July Parade. He stated that he always walked and passed out candy. This year he rode in the fire truck driven by his good friend Chief Matt Buckley, and he waved as others passed out the candy.
Even though he was sick, Bill was concerned about getting the ice rink at Big Ball Park put up with his friends the Big Chill Crew. It is in the process of getting set up, maybe now with some heavenly help from one Bill Sherman.
There will be more written and said about Bill in the days to come, and he will have his name added to the list of people who have made a difference in his beloved Riverside. Thanks, Bill. See you later.