Carpentersville firefighter dies at 46; honor guard escorts body home

Funeral services are pending for a longtime Carpentersville firefighter/paramedic who died unexpectedly of unknown reasons Monday while on vacation.

The body of Battalion Chief Todd Middendorf was brought home Thursday and was met by a Chicago Fire Department honor guard at O'Hare International Airport. It was escorted by Carpentersville police squad cars and firetrucks back to Carpentersville and Miller Funeral Home in West Dundee.

Firetrucks from Elgin, East Dundee, West Dundee and Rutland Dundee fire departments accompanied the escort for the final leg of the journey.

Middendorf, 46, of Carpentersville, was a 23-year veteran of the department. Family members have declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding his death.

He began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Hazel Green, Wisconsin. He started in Carpentersville as a part-time firefighter in 1994, and was hired full-time in 1997. He worked his way up through the ranks in the role of acting deputy chief helping with the department's administration.

"He was really a big part of the foundation of this department," Carpentersville Fire Chief John-Paul Schilling said. "Everybody looked up to him. He was always kind to people. ... Willing to go the extra mile. Just an unbelievable person on and off the job."

Schilling worked with Middendorf for little more than a year, but "he touched my career just in the short time I knew him," he said.

Middendorf is survived by his wife, Daisy, and son, Tyler.

Details of a memorial service for Middendorf were to be released later Friday, Schilling said.

Local police and fire departments escort the body of Carpentersville firefighter/paramedic Todd Middendorf, 46, who died Monday. Courtesy of Carpentersville Fire Department
The Chicago Fire Department honors Carpentersville firefighter/paramedic Todd Middendorf, 46, who died Monday. His body arrived Thursday at O'Hare International Airport and was met with an honor guard. Police and fire departments escorted his body back home. Courtesy of Carpentersville Fire Department
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