Community leader remembered as philanthropist and friend

Local News

PESOTUM, Ill. (WCIA) — Charles “Chaz” McCrone spent his life helping others in not just one community, but several is being remembered across Central Illinois. 

McCrone had many different titles. He was a Pesotum Village Board Member, Captain of the fire department and philanthropist. 

One of the people he cherished the most is his daughter, Emily. She said he was her best friend and no one was a stranger to him. 

She can remember as a young girl he would always introduce her to people. Many of those people reflected on just how kind and valued he was to the community. 

Chaz McCrone could ride on two wheels and even four. Whenever he would take off, he was helping others in some way. 

“That’s what Chaz was. He was all about giving back. He was about selfless service and that’s just who he was,” says Blue Crew Law Enforcement Club President, Jay Robinson.

Now that he’s gone, many people who knew him say things will never be the same. 

“We just lost a good is what we lost. We lost a good friend. He wanted to give back and when you lose somebody who actually volunteers and spends that much time. You lose a valuable piece of your friendship,” says friend, Stefanie Pratt.

Pratt grew up with McCrone in Danville. He was in her wedding and she was close to him as he raised his daughter.

“We were like best buds throughout the year. We’d go a few months not speaking. It’s that friendship when you get together it’s like no time has passed,” says Pratt.

McCrone was also one of the founding members of the Central Illinois Blue Crew. They called him the Sgt. at Arms. The organization uses its passion for motorcycles to help the community. 

Members say McCrone was a staple in the crew that helped keep everyone together. 

“He was always there. Any time anyone of us needed him he was there. He would give the shirt off his back for anybody at any time no matter what,” states Robinson. 

McCrone bonded with friends over motorcycle rides and charity work.

Villa Grove Fire Chief, Ross Elston is one of those friends. The duo would fight many fires together through mutual aid over the years. He says there are many memories he will cherish.

“We were out together out on Lake Shelbyville, playing music and having a good time. I turned it up kind of loud and I asked him if he liked that song and after I turned it down he said I liked it better at the volume then I did before,” says Villa Grove Fire Chief, Ross Elston.

McCrone was also engaged to be married this year. 

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