Former classmates will hold a candlelight vigil in honor of Licka, 19, who died Tuesday following a lawnmower accident while working for the Frankfort Square Park District.
"Frank was always there for me, helping me with whatever he could," said Dakota Mashak, a former classmate at Summit Hill Junior High School and Lincoln-Way North High School.
When Mashak wanted to start his own charity in high school, he knew he could count on Licka
"That’s just the kind of person he was. He helped everyone, with everything, at any given moment."
Mashak and Licka were in Key Club together at Lincoln-Way North, and Licka also was involved with track and field. But it was his time spent with friends that has left the biggest impact.
"He was always someone to talk to, recently had been giving him guitar lessons," Mashak said. "He was always in a cheerful mood. Never anything negative about him. He always had a smile on his face."
Irene Larson's friendship with Licka dates back to preschool. The two parted ways briefly after a relocation, but found each other again at Summit Hill Junior High.
"He was just so ... GOOD," Larson said. "All he cared about was other people, and helping them."
Licka was a freshman at Bradley University in Peoria. He had worked for the Frankfort Square Park District during his high school years.
"Frank Licka was a valued employee of the Frankfort Square Park District and a dear friend and colleague to many," Executive Director Jim Randall said in a statement.
Teacher Dianne Shorter spoke of Licka fondly.
"...his steady optimism changed the mood even when there was little to be positive about," she said. "In large measure it's because Frank is one of those rare humans; his emotional generosity allowed for a unique understanding and compassion for others.
"That the quality was housed in one so young is its own miracle."
The vigil will be held on the football field at Lincoln-Way North High School, at 8 p.m. A memorial visitation will be held on Sunday, June 22, from 1 p.m. until time of memorial service at 4 p.m. in Kurtz Memorial Chapel, 65 Old Frankfort Way, Frankfort.
"He was such a leader," Larson said. "He had so many things he could have done to help everyone in the community. And it’s not fair that he can’t do any of that now."
Click here for more on the visitation and obituary.