Rockford, Illinois News

Winnebago County Sheriff announces death of Deputy Chief Don Gasparini Jr.

ROCKFORD — The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office announced, on Sunday, announced that Deputy Chief Don Gasparaini Jr. has died.

Son of late former Sheriff Don Gasparini, Gasparini Jr. served on the sheriff’s department for 25 years. He was 46.

The announcement came Sunday night on the sheriff department’s Facebook page.

“With heavy hearts the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the sudden loss of Deputy Chief Donald Gasparini, Jr.” the post reads. “The members of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office offer our deepest condolences to the Gasparini family. We ask that you keep his family and our law enforcement family in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”

Gasparini was honored Sunday with a procession led by the Northern Illinois Multi-Jurisdictional Honor Guard.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said: “I would like to express my condolences to the family and to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department on the passing of Deputy Chief Don Gasparini. Deputy Chief Gasparini was a notable presence in the leadership team of Sheriff Gary Caruana. His dedication to service for the Winnebago County residents was exemplified by his quiet disposition in assisting those in need. I feel blessed to have had the privilege to work with Donnie for the past several years. His death has left a void in the hearts of all of us who worked with him and knew him. And although we will no longer be blessed with his physical presence, his spirit of kindness and exceptional leadership will continue to resonate with us.”

A cause of death has not been announced. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

This story has been updated.

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