Public encouraged to line procession for fallen McHenry County deputy
A line of American flags was put in place and bundles of flowers rested on a sheriff's squad car as preparations were made to say goodbye to the McHenry County deputy killed in the line of duty last week.
A visitation is set for Tuesday, followed by a funeral and procession Wednesday, for Deputy Jacob Keltner, 35, who died while trying to serve an arrest warrant at a hotel in Rockford as part of a U.S. Marshals team.
"We highly encourage the public to line the official procession route on Wednesday to show their support and honor Deputy Keltner," the sheriff's office said.
Authorities say Floyd E. Brown, 39, of Springfield shot Keltner and later was apprehended after a six-hour standoff downstate along Interstate 55.
Keltner, of Crystal Lake, had known he wanted to be a police officer from a very young age, and he graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Spanish and a minor in law enforcement and justice administration, according to his obituary.
He started in a civilian position with DuPage County sheriff's office -- where his brother works and his father retired from -- and joined the McHenry County sheriff's office in 2006. Keltner served as a detective and in narcotics, and for the last five years he was assigned to U.S. Marshal Great Lakes Regional Fugitive task force.
Keltner, who was praised by colleagues and superiors for his dedication and professionalism, was an avid Cubs fan who enjoyed working out and swimming with his two sons in the summer. Survivors also include his wife, Becki, and his parents, Howard and Helen Keltner.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered that all U.S. and Illinois flags fly at half-staff at state facilities until sunset Wednesday.
Visitation for Keltner will be Tuesday at DeFiore Funeral Home, 10763 Dundee Road in Huntley. Public visitation will be 2 to 8 p.m. with a formal law enforcement walk-through at 6 p.m., the McHenry County sheriff's office said.
People are asked to dress for the weather and to expect to stand outside while waiting to pay their respects.
There will not be any parking at the DeFiore Funeral Home. People can park at St. Mary Catholic Church, 10307 Dundee Road in Huntley, or at Walmart, 12300 Route 47 in Huntley. Buses will run to and from the funeral home from those locations.
The funeral will be Wednesday at Woodstock North High School, 3000 Raffel Road in Woodstock. Only first responders can park at the school. Doors will open at 8 a.m.; priority seating will go to law enforcement, then to other first responders. The funeral will start at 10 a.m.
The service will be followed by a procession for law enforcement and emergency vehicles.
There will be a post on Facebook.com/McHenryCountySheriffwhen officers get into their squad cars for the procession, giving the public at least 20 minutes to get into position, Deputy Sandra Rogers said.
The procession will leave Woodstock North High School going north, or right, on Raffel Road; then west, or left, on Charles Road; south, or left, on Route 47; southeast, or left, on Route 14; south, or right, on Route 31; west, or right, on James R. Rakow Road, which turns into Randall Road; west, or right, on Algonquin Road; south, or left, on Ruth Road; south, or left, on Dundee Road; ending at DeFiore Funeral Home, where Keltner's body will be cremated.
The public also is encouraged to leave notes and flowers on a sheriff's squad car dedicated to Keltner and parked on the east side of the sheriff's building in the McHenry County Government Center, 2200 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock.