Chicago’s beloved paleta man, whose story went viral, has passed away

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CHICAGO — The Chicago “paleta man” — whose story moved thousands around the world — has passed away.

Fidencio Sanchez died Wednesday morning 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 5:53AM 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.”

Sanchez’s story went viral in 2016 after a stranger snapped a photo of him pushing his popsicle cart through Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.

Macías was driving when he spotted Sanchez struggling to push his cart down the street. Macías pulled over and bought about $50 worth of popsicles from Sanchez, then snapped the picture of him and posted it to Facebook.

Good Samaritans created a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $3,000 so Sanchez could retire and enjoy the rest of his life. The GoFundMe ended up raising more than $384,000.

At the time, it became Illinois’ largest GoFundMe campaign, with nearly 15,000 people in 52 countries donating to it.


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