PEORIA- Remembering a legend.
The celebration of the life of former mayor Jim Maloof drew hundreds to downtown Peoria Friday night.
Everyone came to remember the man, who asked a lot and expected the best from people, all making Peoria the city it is today.
A splendid torch.
That's what people call the life of Jim Maloof.
"Everyone has a story..a Jim Maloof story," says Maloof's son, Nick.
Jim Maloof wrote, and usually sang, his story, his history, his legacy, every day of his life.
"He truly impacted lives everyday," adds Nick Maloof.
With the celebration of his life, for many, it's almost impossible he's gone.
"To actually think about the fact that Jim Maloof's not with us anymore, it actually seemed like Jim Maloof would live forever," reflects Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.
At Riverside Community Church, filled with his family, friends, and the Peoria community, one thing's clear...Jim Maloof will live on forever.
Mayor Ardis adds, "The guy really did do so much for our community, it's hard to imagine any one person doing all of that stuff."
Everyone here would agree.
Jim Maloof tried to get as much as he could from people. Pushing them, all for Peoria.
"If we all had the ability to talk to people no matter what their specialty was, no matter what they do in life, and try to talk them into using those skills to make Peoria better, I think that's something to aspire to," adds Ardis.
It's what Jim did.
Through the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Affiliate he created, to his realty, to pride in Peoria.
It's all palpable here.
Love. For the guy with a gruff exterior and a heart of gold hiding underneath.
"You leave us with a pair of shoes too big to ever be filled," says friend Marshall Lipkin. "We will shed a tear because we will miss you, but there will be a smile on our lips when we recall how you touched and enriched our lives, by allowing us to be a part of yours."
Official visitation for Jim Maloof will be Saturday from 8am to 1 pm at St. Mary's Cathedral.
Mass will be at 2pm.
Graveside ceremonies will be only for family.