BY JON SEIDEL
Homicide Watch Chicago
The Loop CEO shot by a recently demoted executive in July has died, according to an online journal maintained by his family.
The entry announcing ArrowStream CEO Steven LaVoie’s death appears on the website CaringBridge.org. Jody LaVoie, his wife, is listed as its author.
“I am writing to let you know that Steve’s body has succumbed to his numerous injuries,” she wrote. “I had truly hoped to tell a different story now about his recovery, and for so long I believed he would be with us again. But know that the man you all remember so dearly, fought so bravely. Steve brought great dignity and beauty to all of our lives these past months.”
LaVoie, 55, was shot on July 31 by Tony DeFrances, who police said had recently been demoted.
LaVoie and DeFrances were meeting in LaVoie’s office on the 17th floor of the Bank of America building, 231 S. La Salle St., when co-workers outside heard shouts and three or four gunshots, according to a police source. DeFrances, 60, shot LaVoie in the stomach and head before turning the gun on himself, police said.
A father of three who lived in west suburban La Grange, LaVoie started his company out of his home while living in Wicker Park in 2000. It sold supply-chain management technology to large restaurants like Wendy’s and Applebee’s.
It was named by a business trade group as one of Chicago’s best companies to work for the past three years.
LaVoie hired DeFrances 14 years ago. He’d been with the company from nearly the beginning. Before joining ArrowStream, DeFrances founded a successful software company.
DeFrances was demoted July 25 from his position as chief technology officer, police said.
After the shooting, former ArrowStream employee Pete Rocha described LaVoie as an “extremely charismatic individual” who took on the status quo in their industry with a revolutionary mind-set. He said LaVoie cared, on a personal level, about all of his employees.
Fred Hoch, the CEO of the Illinois Technology Association and a friend of LaVoie, said the ArrowStream CEO was one of the happiest people he’d ever met.
“He is always intensely happy. Driven to do things but happy about it.”
On Monday, Jody LaVoie remembered her husband on a CaringBridge.org entry titled “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.”
“Steve was a man who cared about everyone and was passionate in all aspects of his life,” she wrote. “I always knew this, but over the past few months so many people have reached out to me to share how Steve inspired them, or shared his gift of friendship and kindness.”
Jody LaVoie wrote services for her husband will begin 6 p.m. Friday at the LaGrange Country Club, followed by a service 10 a.m. Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church of La Grange. However, she said arrangements are still being finalized, and more details will be announced as they become available.