Hundreds of people packed into the Shoreline Church Tuesday to celebrate the life of Sgt. Chris Kelley. During a memorial service they honored Kelley's commitment to his family, community and country.
Last week the Hutto police officer was killed in the line of duty while trying to apprehend a suspect.
"June 24, 2015 is a date we will never forget as Sgt. Kelley's watch ended in Hutto and his new watch in started in Heaven," said Hutto Police Chief Earl Morrison. Kelley was the first officer Morrison.
Kelley, 37, was no stranger to public service. When the native Texan graduated from Elgin High School he enlisted in the Air Force where he graduated from boot camp with honors making his father proud. As an Airman he served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Following his service to the country he worked with DPS and the Travis County Sheriff's Office. Kelley worked as a police officer at the University of Texas and started patrolling the streets of Hutto in 2008.
Friends and family shared memories keeping his spirit alive.
"I had planned on this but not for another 50 years," said Matt Toomey, a longtime friend. Toomey was Kelley's best man and spoke during his wedding to his wife Michele.
"We chased bad guys together, took drunk drivers off the road and were occasionally accused of giving our sergeants or dispatch gray hairs," said Chris Vela who also serves with the Hutto Police Department.
"There are no words to make the pain go away. That only diminishes with time," said Chief Morrison.
But there are some words that describe Kelley. Following the days after his death his family made a list.
"He was humble, personable, hard-working, " said one of Kelley's family members
"And above all else he was a hero," said Becky Meyer, Kelley's aunt.
Fighting back the tears Michele Kelley bravely walked to the stage thanking her family in blue and the community for their support. She says she fell in love with her husband and his sense of humor and that she truly got to marry her best friend.
Life changed in an instant for the Kelley family. "To my children, I love you. I promise to always be there to help you never forget your daddy. To my love, I promise to love and protect your babies," said Kelley.
Kelley leaves behind his wife, Michele and their two young children.
While they say goodbye to a friend, father, husband and officer, Chris Kelley will never be forgotten.
"Please watch over us and protect us and let us know you are still here. Until we meet again I love you," said Kelley as she blew a kiss to her husband's casket.