It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of Winnebago County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Donald "Donnie" Gasparini, Jr. He unexpectedly went home to his Lord and Savior on Sunday, October 11 while participating in a recreational activity with his son. He is survived by his wife Jamie, his children Ella and Joey, Mother Peggie Gasparini, Siblings John, Marc and Deanna, and his trusted Lab Winnie.
Donnie, a Rockford native, graduated from Boylan High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Judson University and a Master of Arts from Western Illinois University. He was a graduate of the FBI National Academy and Northwestern University School for Police Staff and Command.
Donnie was a 26-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, spending several of those years as Deputy Chief. Most recently, he oversaw accreditation, fiscal services, the Emergency Services Disaster Agency, courthouse security, and personnel. In addition to his career with Winnebago County, he was a team leader assessor for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
Donnie was a humble, well-respected member of the community. He was a loving and devoted husband and father. He never had a bad word to say about anyone, ever. He saw the good in everyone and made each person better than they even deserved on some days. Donnie loved his wife and children more than anyone I know and cherished all of his time with family. He loved hunting, fishing, golfing, swimming, yardwork, and Disney World...he loved life.
I am the sister of Jamie Gasparini, who is the wife of the late Donnie Gasparini, and the beneficiary of the campaign. The money raised from this campaign will go to support Donnie's children and their future educational expenses. The family has a difficult road ahead and your kind support will help to alleviate the financial weight of their sudden and terrible loss. Please keep his family in your hearts, your minds, and your prayers. Thank you for lifting them up during this time of devastation. I will forever hold onto the memories until I am also called home. RIP Donnie Gasparini - everyone loves and misses you dearly.