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Family, friends memorialzed LaGrange man killed by employee

Family and friends filled the First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange Saturday for a memorial service for Steven LaVoie, 55, of LaGrange, who died Monday after being shot July 30 in a downtown Chicago office building by an employee of the company he founded.

LaVoie “fought a good fight,” said Rev. Rebecca McClintock, associate pastor of First Presbyterian. “Not just in the last few months but in the way he chose to live his life. . . . He valued every person.”

Family members and firends said LaVoie was devoted to his wife Jody and three daughters, ages 15, 12 and 9.

“Those girls were Steven’s life,” said his sister, Lisa Killian, whether he was attending dances, Indian Princess meetings or soccer games with them.

Authorities say LaVoie was shot twice in his office by Tony DeFrances, an employee of ArrowStream, the supply-chain technology company LaVoie founded in 2000. DeFrances, who had been with ArrowStream almost since it began, had been demoted about a week before the shooting and killed himself after shooting LaVoie, police said.

McClintock said Jody LaVoie imagined what her husband would think about what happened and decided he would have been heartbroken that his attacker was in so much pain that he thought the shooting was a good solution and that he had not realized that.

Family members recalled the attention LaVoie showed to all he met.

“He was able to make each of us feel like we were a brilliant conversationalist . . . and his favorite conversationalist,” said a cousin, Carl Gronberg.

“It was obvious from the very beginning that Steve was very bright and had a fierce determination,” said his older brother Larry LaVoie.

“I would tell him boys don’t cry, but Steve did,” he said, adding that he came to realize “being sensitive is what made Steve so special.”

Kimberly Fornek, Sun-Times Media