Friends say William Lafontaine was rarely without a smile on his face. He had a passion for basketball and lifting others' spirits.
Lafontaine -- affectionately known as Willy -- was also preparing to become a father. He died on March 7, at 28 years old.
"RHONJ" star and local business owner Kim DePaola expressed condolences on social media.
"I will miss you soo much my Willy !" she wrote. "That beautiful smile and always willing to help everyone."
Lafontaine was born in Wayne and later moved to Totowa, where he lived for most of his life. He was a construction worker for Greener Construction and was "always there for everybody," his obituary says.
"He always had a smile on his face and was a great people person - such a great happy kid. He gave people life."
More than $20,600 had been raised for his family on a GoFundMe as of Tuesday.
Visitation will be 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday. A funeral will be held at the Festa Memorial Funeral Home at 9:45 a.m. Friday with Mass to follow at St. Joseph's Church in Paterson at 10:30 a.m.
Interment will be at Laurel Grove Cemetery in Totowa.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.