Family and friends from all over Texas paid their last respects to a Department of Public Safety trooper who died in the line of duty.
Sgt. Paul Hernandez collapsed and died Thursday in San Antonio during a physical readiness test for the agency. The Texas Highway Patrol officer was stationed in Universal City, near San Antonio.
As the funeral procession left the First Rowlett United Methodist Church under a cover of clouds, family and friends said they would never forget how Hernandez could brighten any gray day.
"This is a sad, sad day," Madolyn Anderson said. "You could always go to him for any advice, and he was just a wonderful man and we'll all be missing him."
Hernandez served in DPS for 36 years, working all over the state with the Criminal Investigation and Driver's License Division.
He was stationed in Universal City, but his wish was to one day come home to North Texas.
"He was dedicated to his people," DPS spokesman Lonny Haschel said. "He was dedicated to his family, he was dedicated to his co-workers, and he was just a fine man."
Rowlett resident Becky Sebastian stopped to pay her respects to the sergeant, though she didn't personally know him.
"They put their lives on the line every day for us, and I felt the least we could is show our respects," she said.
Hernandez is the 88th Texas trooper to die in the line of duty.