A 9/11 survivor and father of three who died on the Fourth of July while boating on Lake Michigan is being remembered as a "true family man" and "hero."
Luke Laidley, 43, was boating near Winnetka, Illinois, on Tuesday when he jumped into the water to help kids who were tubing, a spokeswoman for the Village of Winnetka told ABC News in a statement.
Laidley "struggled to swim and drowned," according to the statement.
He was pulled back onto the boat and received CPR. Once the boat returned to the shore, Laidley was treated with "advanced life support" by Winnetka Firemedics, but later died at a local hospital.
"Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this difficult time," the spokeswoman said in the statement.
According to his obituary, Laidley is survived by his wife and three children, ages 7, 5 and 3.
Over two decades ago, in 2001, Laidley was 21 years old and at his second day of work for Morgan Stanley on the 61st floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center when hijacked planes struck the buildings.
After surviving the attack, Laidley wrote, according to his obituary, "I encourage all of us to count our blessings each and every day. Give of yourself and expect nothing in return. And become part of something that is greater than yourself."
In his obituary, Laidley is remembered as a "true family man to his core." In addition to his wife and children, he is also survived by five siblings, in-laws and 17 nieces and nephews.
"His smile lit up the room. He exuded positivity and perseverance with everything he did. He loved deeply and truly with all his heart," his obituary reads.
Laidley, who worked in finance, chose to be an organ donor, his family notes in his obituary.
"His philosophy was to 'Give of yourself and expect nothing in return. And become part of something that is greater than yourself.' He became part of something bigger, as his death will serve a greater purpose as an organ donor," the obituary states. "A life lived with purpose. A life lived to serve for others. A life lived as a hero."
Laidley's life will be celebrated in a funeral mass at a local Catholic church on July 15.
His widow and children also shared a note in Laidley's obituary asking friends and family to share memories of their beloved husband and father, whom they describe as "our most favorite person."
"We would also love to hear if/when you encounter any signs of Luke in the future," they wrote. "We are looking daily for those signs and would love to know when our dear guardian Angel decides to show you a sign that he is still watching over all of us and guiding us."