CANTON, Ill. (WMBD) — One year has passed since the death of Fulton County Deputy Troy Chisum.
He gave his life in the line of duty, responding to a disturbance call in rural Avon.
The call was that someone was bitten by a dog.
His family tells WMBD he was just five minutes away from being off shift.
Deputy Chisum was then shot at the home responded to on E. Troy Rd. in Avon. This lead to a nearly 19-hour long standoff between Illinois State Police and Nathan Woodring, the man charged with shooting and killing Deputy Chisum.
Troy wore many hats; he was a Sheriff’s Deputy, a Paramedic, and a Firefighter, but his family says he was more than that.
He was a family man, and a hero to everyone who knew him.
“He was my best friend,” said Troy’s younger sister, Krysta Dilts.
One year after his death, his family says there’s not a day that goes by without missing him.
“Responsible. Heroic. He would never turn anything down, anything anybody ever asked,” Dilts said.
Krysta says if there were more people like Troy, the world would be a better place.
“He always liked to help people. Definitely somebody I always looked up to, and I always wished I’d find a husband for myself as good as he was to his wife and his children,” Krysta said.
June 25, 2019 was Deputy Chisum’s ‘End of Watch.’
His mother, Debbie Wheeler, says the community support last year helped his family get through it all.
“I’ve got a lot of good friends. A lot of them go camping with us. Last year they were amazing with me, they bought Krysta and I a very nice memorial bench,” Debbie said. “They had the campground decorated with blue lights, flags, bows and everything. They were just amazing. It was a week before the actual funeral and they were here everyday with my family.”
She says she always knew her son was a hero, but at different memorials last summer, she learned more about the impact he had on everyone around him.
“One lady came over and she said ‘if it wasn’t for your son, my son wouldn’t be alive,” Debbie said.
One department impacted, The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, where Troy was a Deputy for four and a half year.
Sheriff Jeff Standard says things aren’t the same with Chisum gone.
“There’s still a void. I don’t know how to really describe it around here, it’s not as light-hearted as it was,” Standard said.
Troy was also a paramedic with Northern Tazewell Fire Department.
Assistant Chief David Houseworth says his crew decorated a locker in Troy’s memory, and there’s not a day that goes by without thinking of him.
“We miss him. It’s not the same no more without Troy because he brought so much zest and happiness and so much camaraderie. He was a great asset to this department,” Houseworth said.
Houseworth says Troy was always there for anything you needed.
“Troy was a helper. If someone needed help, whether it be in police, fire, medical field, Troy was always there,” Houseworth said.
Houseworth said Chisum was a Paramedic on the force since 2006.
Krysta now carries Troy with her everyday with a tattoo on her forearm.
“I thought it was the least I could do for him,” Krysta said.
She says she always looked up to her brother, who was two years older than her.
“I always wanted to be like him. I remember as a kid I’d wear his hand-me-down clothes because I thought it was cool. Well, I thought he was so cool,” Krysta smiled.
And the way she wants him remembered?
“The best way to remember him is just as a great person. All around father, husband, brother,” Krysta said.
While he may be gone, his family says his legacy will last forever.
Other departments throughout central Illinois are honoring Deputy Chisum Thursday.
People and departments are being asked to turn on any blue lights they have Thursday night to honor Deputy Chisum.
Troy’s family is having a private memorial Thursday night where those in attendance will be able to share their favorite memories of Troy.
His sister and mother shared some of their favorite memories with us.
“I’m in nursing school right now, I happened to witness a motorcycle accident a few years ago out in the country here. I called 911 because the guy had flipped off his motorcycle. My brother was on call that day, I didn’t know,” Krysta said. “He was the first one to the scene, I was so nervous because I had never dealt with anything like that. It felt so good as soon as I knew it was him, because I knew that everything was going to be okay and he knew what to do.”
“He wasn’t even on-duty and a lady on a wheelchair was going across the street and had fallen out of her wheelchair. While everybody passed on, he stopped and went out to help her,” Krysta said.
His mother, Debbie, says he’d always bring friends to get togethers and that he especially had a sweet tooth.
“Pinneapple upside down cake and strawberries. Lemon meringue pie, banana cream. Anytime kind of dessert,” Debbie laughed.
On Thursday, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department revealed a ‘Fallen Officer Memoria’ in honor of Deputy Chisum.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department has existed since 1823. Deputy Chisum is the only officer from the department who has lost their life in the line of duty.
We will have coverage on both WYZZ and WMBD.
Woodring is set to appear in court again on July 7 for a pre-trial conference.
Click the video above to view a snapshot of Deputy Troy Chisum’s memorial held Thursday evening.