MONTGOMERY UNVEILS ITS FIRST HONORARY STREET SIGN, "JIMMIE TOUVELL WAY"
Montgomery, IL – On Wednesday, September 6, 2023, the Village of Montgomery, Montgomery Countryside Fire Department, family, and friends gathered at the intersection of Clay and Railroad Streets near the fire department to honor the late Assistant Fire Chief James Touvell, better known at the firehouse as "Jimmie T" throughout his 55 years of service.
The honorary street sign is the first in the Village's history. Fire Chief Tom Meyers and Touvell's widow, Louise, worked with the Village to help create a street dedication policy. "I wanted to do something to honor Jimmie," says Louise, "I just love and miss him so much." Touvell began serving the fire protection district on January 13, 1965, and completed his service, retiring in 2020. On April 13, 2022, Tourvell passed unexpectedly at 79.
During the gathering, members of the Montgomery Countryside Fire Protection District, past and present, wore their dress uniforms and saluted as the honor guard presented the colors for the national anthem. Chief Meyers and Village Trustee Doug Marecek, Touvell's daughter Nancy, and Louise addressed the crowd. His daughter recalled memories of her dad's love of Montgomery and loyalty to serving the fire district conveniently located just up the street from her childhood home on Main Street.
Chief Meyers echoed the sentiments about when Touvell would hear the alarms at the fire station from his home and come down to assist. Chief Meyers estimates that he responded to thousands of emergencies during his years of service. Touvell started the annual Santa parade in the 1970s throughout the Montgomery and Countryside fire districts, which still occurs yearly. When it came time, Touvell's widow Louise, daughters Nancy and Sarah, and his sister Jurine shared in revealing the sign. In her closing, Louise shared that she plans to walk by the sign daily, and "she knows Jimmie is looking down on the fire department watching over them and knowing that they are doing a great job protecting Montgomery."