The “paleta man” in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, Fidencio Sanchez, died Wednesday morning, Nov. 6, from complications of sepsis, according to a Facebook post from family friend Joel Cervantes Macias.
“I’m afraid I have some very sad news today. This morning at 5:53 a.m. Don Fidencio passed away from complications of sepsis. His family asked me to be the one to give the official notice of his passing. The family wants to give thanks to everybody from around the world that made his last three years of life happy and comfortable. He was amongst family and loved ones by his bedside when he passed. Information on his services to follow. Rest In Peace Don Fidencio.”
Three years ago, Sanchez retired from pushing his popsicle cart through Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood to eke out a living. Then Macías, a stranger, was struck by the sight and bought about $50 worth of popsicles from Sanchez. He then snapped the picture of him and posted it to Facebook, WGN-TV reported.
“It really moved me how people were walking past him not buying any popsicles. I felt, don’t you see this man? Can’t you have a little compassion?” Cervantes said.
A GoFundMe campaign was created in 2016 with a goal of raising $3,000 so Sanchez could retire and enjoy the rest of his life. More than $380,000 was raised by donors from 60 countries. At the time, it became Illinois’s largest GoFundMe campaign.
According to Salvador Lopez, an attorney who helped the family, Sanchez is comfortable and doesn’t have financial concerns. He still stays in Little Village, the community he and his wife called home, CBS Chicago reported.