YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- A final farewell and funeral was held Wednesday for fallen Yonkers Police Sergeant Frank Gualdino, hailed as a cop's cop who made the ultimate sacrifice.
A solemn procession made its way past the sea of officers standing at attention as his casket was carried to Sacred Heart Church in Yonkers.
"Our prayers are with you today in a most special way, and not just today, we assure you of our prayers in the days and the weeks and the months ahead," Father Robert Abbatiello said.
The focus of the funeral was on Gualdino's love of family. Outside the church his wife Lisa held his hat while his son Mark wore his jacket and his daughter Emily wore his shield around her neck.
Inside the church they delivered eulogies.
"His good nature and love were exuded in everything he did, not only for his family but for complete strangers as well," his daughter Emily said.
"We lived our lives to the fullest to make so many wonderful thrilling memories, so much time spent together loving, learning, exploring, laughing, dancing and truly being grateful in each other's company," his wife Lisa said.
The 53-year-old sergeant was killed in the line of duty last week in a tragic head-on crash on Tuckahoe Road in Yonkers.
It happened when investigators say an inexperienced 16-year-old driver lost control of a speeding BMW M5, crossed a double yellow line and crashed into oncoming traffic, hitting Gualdino's car and a Westchester County Bee-Line bus.
Sgt. Gualdino was a 24-year police veteran who was set to retire in August.
If there is one defining characteristic of his personality, it was his smile. He was a supervisor in the highway division and was honored in October for rushing an unconscious 3-year-old boy to the hospital.
Department brass only learned about his life-saving action when the family wrote a letter of appreciation.
"It is a perfect example of someone doing the right thing when on one is looking, just like when he returned to that same hospital to check on the boy after the incident," said Yonkers Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza.
Gualdino was known in the department as "Furby" because he reminded colleagues of the '90s toy: furry and friendly. The nickname will be emblazoned on his highway unit's motorcycles.
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