FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. – J. Scott LaGreca, 64, of Fountain Hills, Ariz., and formerly of Wonder Lake, passed away Saturday, June 15, 2013, at home under hospice care.
He was born Oct. 29, 1948, in San Diego to James and Barbara LaGreca. On April 22, 1978, he married Christine Stankiewicz in Chicago.
Raised in Wonder Lake, Scott attended Harrison Elementary School, McHenry High School and Junior College in Burlington, Iowa. He received a Bachelor of Science in technical careers from Southern Illinois University in 1978 and a master's degree in technology and applied science from Arizona State University
Scott was a veteran of the U.S. Army
, serving in Vietnam with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade from 1968 to 1970.
Scott began his career in fire service as a member of the Chicago Fire Department in 1971, and held the positions of firefighter, lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, director of media affairs, and assistant to the deputy fire commissioner of fire suppression and rescue. In 1996, Scott retired from the Chicago Fire Department after 25 years of service to become the assistant chief/fire marshal for the Fountain Hills Rural/Metro Fire Department. While there, he held the positions of assistant chief/fire marshal, assistant chief of Maricopa County/Scottsdale Fire Operations, and Fountain Hills Rural/Metro fire chief.
He graduated from the Executive Fire Officers Program at the National Fire Academy in 1987, and in 2003 was designated by the Commission on Chief Fire Officer Designation as a ""Chief Fire Officer."" He was a fire program advisory board representative with Arizona State and an adjunct professor at the university. He was a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers and served as the town's emergency management coordinator.
Scott was recognized by those he worked with as a fantastic leader with unmatched vision and commitment to customer service. With his extensive expertise, he was a problem-solver, big and small, with sound reasoning and an ever-present smile. With regard to his leadership, Scott's open mindedness and high degree of professionalism were cited as being instrumental in the development of the Fountain Hills Fire Department.
Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Christine; three sons, Sean (Eli) LaGreca of Chicago, Brian LaGreca of Phoenix and Jason (Char) LaGreca of Mayer, Ariz.; four grandchildren, Jaden, Jessica, Madison and James; his parents, James and Barbara LaGreca of Wonder Lake; a sister, Susan LaGreca of Wonder Lake; two brothers, Anthony (Kay) LaGreca of Pontiac and David (Alice) LaGreca of Georgetown, Texas; his mother-in-law, Elfriede Stankiewicz; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a grandchild, C.J.; and a nephew, Daniel Ohlson.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 6, in Arizona at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 16150 E. El Lago Drive, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.
For those wishing to send an expression of condolence, memorials may be sent to Fountain Hills CARE, Fountain Hills Fire Station No. 1, 16426 E. Palisades Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.
For information, call Justen Funeral Home & Crematory at 815-385-2400, or visit www.justenfh.com.