Chicago Fire Department paramedic Robert Truevillian was remembered Monday as a devoted family man, a zealous Christian and a mentor to many.
“He was extremely proud of us,” Kennedy Truevillian, one of his four children, said during a service at Russo’s Hillside Chapels in Hillside. “He always asked us to send him pictures so he could show his buddies at the firehouse.”
Others remembered how he’d come home from a grueling 24-hour shift then rush off to make it in time to one of his children’s Christmas plays or a school dance.
Truevillian, 55, joined the Chicago Fire Department in 2000 and was assigned to ambulance 71, which operates out of 10458 S. Hoxie Ave. in South Deering.
He died Dec. 17, the third active CFD member to die from complications of the coronavirus.
Stanley Williams, a battalion chief at Truevillian’s firehouse, described his lifelong friend as an “amazing person.”
Getting into a deep conversation with Truevillian was an extraordinary experience — but not for the faint of heart.
“He was like a kitten to all the women and girls, but a no nonsense lion with the men and the boys,” Williams said. “If you didn’t want to hear the truth about the subject for yourself, it was best you didn’t talk to Rob.”
Truevillian was devoted to his wife, Adell, whom he pursued to the point of “casual stalking,” Williams joked. He even arranged for billboards on Interstate 290 that asked, “Will you marry me?”
Truevillian’s pastor, Christopher M. Clark Sr., recalled how the two would go out for breakfast and how Truevillian would take notes during Clark’s sermons.
“He would always support me, even in bad sermons,” Clark said. “He’d say, ‘Preacher, good word.’ I’d say, ‘How do you know? You were asleep the whole time.’”
Clark’s voice softened when he said: “Just to hear how proud he was to call me his pastor, it just did my heart some good.”