Known for his kind heart and willingness to help others, David LaBadie touched the lives of countless people throughout Sleepy Hollow and surrounding communities.
LaBadie, a West Dundee resident, died Sept. 27 at 59 from complications following a heart surgery. David LaBadie Jr. says his dad will be remembered as a dedicated volunteer, a caring friend and a devoted father.
"He really was my best friend," he said. "He helped everybody."
Over the past decade, LaBadie served as a member of the Service Club and helped organize local events. He participated in fundraisers for Special Olympics Illinois -- a cause LaBadie was very passionate about -- and also voluntarily ran the websites for the village of Sleepy Hollow and its police department.
Now, LaBadie's family is seeking donations to help fund memorial service costs after they were unable to locate his life insurance policy. A GoFundMe page called "Dave's Funeral Expenses" has collected about $2,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.
The money raised will go toward two memorial services: one this weekend in the Dundee area and another later in Chicago, where he worked for 30 years plowing snow and repairing streets.
LaBadie also requested he be cremated and his ashes be spread over Huntington Beach pier in California, where his brother's ashes were also spread, his son said.
"I'm hoping that with all the lives he's touched that this plea for help can assist us in making his final wishes come true," David LaBadie Jr. said. Any leftover funds would be donated to Special Olympics Illinois.
So far, he said, the family has been overwhelmed with the support they've received: "It really makes me happy to know how loved he was."
David LaBadie Jr. said his dad has been involved in community service for as long as he can remember; he helped out with his son's Little League Baseball team and was a Boy Scout Scoutmaster. His involvement in Sleepy Hollow, a bedroom community of about 3,300 people, began several years ago when he started volunteering with Sue Wilson, a Sleepy Hollow police officer and his best friend of more than 20 years.
Because of LaBadie's contributions to the community, the village board agreed this week to donate $1,000 to the family.
"It was always noteworthy the amount of interest he carried in a village that was not his own," Trustee Scott Finney said. "Beyond the website, he was not only interested in those values that keep our village efficient, but the character of the village was also important (to him)."
Police Chief Jim Linane said LaBadie always supported the police department and loved helping children during community events.
"He was an invaluable person and an invaluable nice guy," he said. "I would encourage everybody to do whatever you can (to help)."
LaBadie is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and countless close friends.
Services begin with a visitation from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Fox Valley Baptist Church, 16N562 Vista Lane, Dundee Township.