Ken Christy was remembered Sunday for his large personality and boundless dedication to his roles as Aurora Township clerk and president of the Illinois State Association of Letter Carriers.
The 71-year-old longtime Aurora resident died at a hospital Saturday surrounded by his family.
Christy always put others ahead of himself, no matter how busy he could get, Aurora Township Supervisor Bill Catching said.
"He will be sorely missed as a leader, locally and statewide," Catching said. "He really sort of lived in fifth gear. He could have taken it easy in his 70s, but he worked tirelessly because he believed in the cause very much."
Christy was a well-respected leader, said John Cooksey, vice president of the letter carriers association.
"I just can't say enough about how hard of a worker he was," Cooksey said. "He was very, very ambitious. Energetic. He always got things done. He was a great guy."
Born in Chicago, Christy grew up in Bellwood and attended Triton College, DePaul University, and the University of Illinois.
He worked in retail management for a grocery store chain before joining the postal service as a letter carrier, a job he would hold for more than 30 years. He was elected to the Aurora Township post as a Democrat in 2013.
Christy was a "fantastic" public speaker and loved to tell stories -- both in public and private -- stemming from his involvement in politics, Catching said.
"I saw him give a speech for Congressman Bill Foster," he said. "You hear these things all the time, but after hearing his speech, you were ready to run through a brick wall and knock on 100 doors."
He also was very effective at dealing with legislators and advocating for letter carriers, Cooksey said. "He was a hands-on guy. He's going to be very much missed."
Catching agreed. "He was a very heavy hitter, but talking to him, he was just a regular guy," he said. "One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet."
Christy earned the Kane County Democrats' Harry S. Truman Award in 2012 and was named to the Illinois letter carriers' hall of fame in 2012.
He taught Sunday school at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Aurora, and coached boys' baseball in Aurora for many years.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Bonnie, who was his high school sweetheart, three daughters and five grandchildren.
The family will receive guests from 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday, at Dieterle Memorial Home, 1120 S. Broadway, Montgomery. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, at Our Lady of Good Counsel, 620 S. 5th St., Aurora.