Jim Hansen loved three things: His family, his friends and the village of South Elgin.
His commitment to South Elgin, which he led for 12 years as village president, was such that all that mattered to him was the village's success, not his own, Village Administrator Larry Jones said Thursday during Hansen's funeral service at Laird Funeral Home in Elgin.
Hansen died Nov. 1 after battling lung cancer for nearly five months. He was 53.
The two knew each other for 41 years, from the time Hansen was a boy and Jones a police officer.
Over the decades, Hansen evolved from a young man who drove too fast and stayed out too late, to a patient and practical leader whose sole focus was South Elgin's best interest, Jones said.
"Jim was always more than ready to shoulder failure, and never would have taken (credit for) success," he said.
Before the service, South Elgin police officers guarded the casket, illuminated by the chapel's soft light and surrounded by two dozen wreaths and flower arrangements.
Later, officers stood at attention as the casket was loaded into the hearse. Trustee Steve Ward was among the pallbearers.
Rev. Andrew Mulcahey of St. Laurence Church in Elgin led the service.
Striving for our best is all about having support from family and community, Mulcahy said. "It takes those who dedicate themselves to serve a village to help others."
Hansen was married to his wife, Teri, for 32 years. Jones recalled Hansen's words about his marriage after an office visit by his wife. "He looked at me and smiled and said, 'I did good.' "
Hansen also loved to talk about his sons -- Dustin, Scott and Daniel -- Jones said. Later, his favorite topic became his four grandchildren.
He was an unfailingly supportive friend who sought people out when he knew they were facing difficulties, Jones said.
"I would challenge anyone in this room to find a better friend than Jim."
The burial was at Bluff City Cemetery, followed by a luncheon at Villa Olivia in Bartlett.
The hearse made its way to the cemetery in a procession that included police vehicles and a South Elgin Fire Department fire engine. Members of the fire department and the village's public works department stood outside as the procession drove through the village.