Chicago Water Department helps honor employee who died after COVID-19 battle

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A beloved Chicago Water department employee who died after a battle with COVID-19 was honored Monday.

The Chicago Water department truck Jim Estrada drove lead the procession past his house in the Portage Park neighborhood.

Outside, neighbors held signs. The Estrada family gathered in front of their home including Rose, Jim Estrada's wife of 33 years.

"It's beautiful to see," said Eric Estrada, Jim's son.

The virus that took Estrada's life prevented his friends and family from having a normal visitation, so they organized this drive-by procession instead.

It was filled with many of his fellow water department employees, essential workers who put themselves at risk going to work every day during the pandemic.

"He was loved immensely," said James Estrada, Jim's son.

Friends described Jim Estrada as a regular Chicago guy.

The long procession in his honor was evidence that Estrada was loved by everybody who knew him through his church or his work as a DJ for block parties and school functions.

After being diagnosed with COVID-19, Estrada developed severe symptoms and survived only a couple weeks.
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