Tony Cutrano, 52, also helped create a local memorial wall dedicated to troops killed overseas.
Cutrano was killed Sunday afternoon after he lost control of his motorcycle and struck a guardrail on Route 6 near Bluff Road in south suburban Seneca.
In 2004, Cutrano helped build a memorial wall in Marseilles for troops killed in the Middle East since 1980.
Monday night, Cutrano's friends said his passion was helping the military.
"He had a saying, kinda, that went 'if we could just teach the children peace and not war, we would never have to worry about war. So why can't we get the leaders of the world to teach the children about peace?'" said Jerry Kuzzera, co-founder of the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run.
Tony Cutrano was from Palos Heights.
Police are still investigating what caused Cutrano to lose control of his motorcycle.