Larry Steven Vais, age 60, of Pingree Grove, passed away on December 7, 2020. He was born May 14, 1960 in Oak Park, IL to Steve and Cecilia Vais.

Larry was known as a beloved Brother, Father, Uncle, Great Uncle, Godfather, and Best Friend who will forever be missed.

As a professor at Harper College, Larry found joy in teaching countless students over the years with passion and patience. When he wasn’t shaping future minds at the front of the classroom, he was fishing, listening to music, playing poker, and inviting in new and old friends with his energy and infectious friendly personality.

Larry rode off in peace on his Harley Davidson with the wind in his hair, in pain no more, and we take comfort knowing he has reunited with his mom, dad, and his best buddy, Timber.

May you Rest eternally in Peace.

The family asks during this holiday season to please perform a random act of kindness or pay it forward in Larry’s memory.

A private memorial will be held at his final resting place.

Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home. For more information, call 847-741-1128 or visit www.symondsmadison.com.

10 Replies to “Larry Steven Vais”

  1. This week has been a roller coaster of emotions…we were only 14 years apart so I was blessed to be part of so much of his life. The memories have hit me hard this week and I feel like my heart and mind keep summing them up as chapters in his book of life.
    When I was born, he was just 14 and he gave me one of my very first dolls for Christmas. I still have her and will cherish her even more.
    In my pre- teen years so many people in my life knew him as the Harley riding, long hair, leather jacket, and living on the edge bad boy. My brother and I love to refer to him as the original Jax Teller and to us, he was our protector.
    My teen years were filled with him teaching me how to water ski, taking me to my very first New Kids on the Block concert that he made me swear at that time not to tell anyone or it would ruin his Motley Crue reputation. When I was 17 and my parents were out of town, we snuck my jeep out and he taught me how to drive stick.
    In another chapter, he went to college a little later in life so I was fortunate enough to go through my college years with him. We lived in dorms side by side at NIU and quickly made a pact to tell everyone he was my “older brother” because he thought “Uncle” sounded so old. We had some great times over those years…memories I will cherish forever.
    As we grew older and moved on from college, our lives got more enriched with people to love. He became a professor at Harper College where he continuously shaped the minds of his students and loved every moment of it. He was promoted to Great Uncle Larry and I had the honor of asking him to be my son’s godfather and he couldn’t be more proud.
    He loved fishing and boating with my dad and my boys and even bought them their first lucky fishing hats. When he came over he immediately wanted to play hours of video games with his nephews and would scream and laugh trying to beat them. He had an infectious way of getting people to laugh around him and quickly made friends.
    I was lucky….so very lucky to have you in my life for so many chapters good and bad. I was his Jules and I know he would protect me until the ends of the earth.
    I take comfort knowing you are no longer in pain. Give Grandma and Grandpa a big hug and kiss for me, blast your music loud, and ride that Harley “All night Long” I love you!

    1. I AM UNCLE STEVE VAIS NEPHEW. I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR OF THIS. I WILL PRAY FOR HIM. I AM TONY VAIS SON OF HENRY THE SECOND SON,. JOE WAS THE FIRST BORN. THEN AUNT ANNA, THEN MY DAD HENRY, THEN AUNT MARY I BELEIVE. THEN YOUR GRANDPA STEVE. THE LAST WAS UNCLE ED WHO I ONLY MET ONCE BEFORE HE SIDED.

      1. I INFORMED MY SISTER TERRI, YOUNGER BROTHER BOB VAIS, IF THERE IS ANY SERVICE I WOULD ATTEND. PLEASE KEEP ME POSTED. THANK YOU TONY VAIS…

  2. So sorry for the Vais and Vaughan family. Prayers for all. May He find peace.

  3. He was my professor for psychology this year at harper and was one of my favorite professors by far. Even though he was broken physically, i could tell he was always happy to be teaching us. I’m glad that he passed doing something he loved. I’m sure he will be missed in the Harper community

  4. I am going to miss you on our annual fishing trips together. We only missed one in 33 years. We planned to go to Lodi this Spring but I guess we are going to miss that one. When I go again The first fish in the boat will be in memory of you. Enjoy the card games at the BIG TABLE but remember no cheating. I will miss you but will never forget the great times together the last few years, with Lynn you and I . I will be thinking of you often BUDDY. Your brother in law. “Mikee”

  5. Remembering my excitement when you were born Baby Brother. Taking you to the park in your stroller. Games we played and books I read to you. Oh yes
    “diaper changing” LOL. Your smile, your laugh will be missed. You grew up to become a kind, caring and thoughtful man that I am so proud to call my brother.
    My heart is broken and to me you were taken too soon, but God needed you. Now you are wiLth Mom and Dad and of course Timber (your fury buddy). Hey…
    no more aches and pains!!! I will always cherish all the memories we shared and our precious time together. Thank you for always being there for me and
    my family. You will always and forever be in my heart. I Love You Larry. Until we meet again. Your Sis, Lynn

    1. He was my psychology teacher this fall season, I really enjoyed his class. Our final assignment was to write a research paper. Honestly, it was the first time I enjoyed writing a 5 page research paper. He told us: “I want you guys to write me awesome papers” and we did. I’m pretty sure you’ll proudly read those in heaven. From the beginning, I noticed how he cared about us more than just students. To him we were people that go through a lot of things. And I remember him saying: “It’s ok if it’s not related to the topic, I’m here to help you guys”. He was so patient with us. He answered our emails at any time we needed help. He always pushed us to be our best. His health condition wasn’t the best but that didn’t stop him from doing his best to teach us. And that’s something I’ll always keep in mind. Thank you for everything Professor Larry! You’ll be missed. My deepest condolences to his family. Professor Larry and family are in my prayers

  6. Can you please call me Lynn I loved Larry and I need to have ans 😢😢😢💔I am heartbroken

  7. Larry’s passion for teaching and ability to connect with students was a gift. As chair of the Psychology Department, I was privileged to hear numerous compliments about Larry. “He is the best instructor I ever had! He makes complex content seem so easy with his ways of explaining it.” His strengths include “approachability, extensive knowledge in many areas, and his caring spirit.”
    “Thank you for making this class interesting and informative! The information I learned, made me be more fascinated with Psychology than I already am. This will always be my favorite Harper college class. Thank you for being a great professor and for providing assistance throughout the class and for supporting our journey with great educational intentions.”
    Larry shared with me that he was honored to teach at Harper and that he would do his best “to preserve and carry on the standards, commitment and passion educators brought to our classrooms when he was a student.” Larry set a new standard and he will be missed.

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