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Community remembers hero Mike Chiapperini at funeral

Posted at: 12/30/2012 7:05 PM
Updated at: 12/30/2012 7:06 PM
By: Christine VanTimmeren

Lieutenant Mike Chiapperini will forever be remembered as a hero.

On Sunday, family, friends, our community and men and women from across the country said goodbye.

Lt. Chiapperini's funeral was held Sunday afternoon at Webster Schroeder High School.

Mike Chiapperini was described as a shooting star, who passed brilliantly by us for too short a time.

He was a lieutenant for the Webster Police Department and a volunteer firefighter for the 25 years.

He was also the father of a son and two beautiful little girls.

Sunday's emotional farewell to this hero, is a testament to the legacy he left behind.

Chief Pickering from the Webster Police Department said, "While his professional achievements will long be remembered, Michael's lasting legacy is truly the honorable life that he led."

He continues, "Mike's spirit is with us today, of that I am certain. He is smiling and wrapping his strong arms around each one of us. He is probably saying, really, these people are all here for me?"

Lt. Michael Chiapperini deserved the recognition of every single person in the auditorium and those lined up outside.

Sgt. Dennis Kohlmeier from the Webster Police Department said, "He was the kind of friend that was always available to you. If i needed to talk, he was a speed dial away and nearly every time, he answered. I'm going to miss having instant access to his advice."

That support, Sergeant Dennis Kohlmeier will forever miss. But support is what got all of Mike Chiapperini's friends and co-workers through today's service. Side by side, they recounted what he meant to each of them.

Sgt. Dennis Kohlmeier said, "He was the kind of friend that made you feel special. He had inside jokes and nicknames for everyone. He made a personal connection with everyone he met, didn't matter if you knew him for two minutes or 20 years."

Michael Chiapperini is a hero, but ask his friends and family and they'll tell you he was much more than that.

Lt. Chiapperini's brother-in-law, Dane Erich said, "In these days when perhaps the word hero is overused, remember these names: Chiapperini, Kaczowka, Scardino, Hofstetter, Ritter-- this is the real thing. These men are real heroes."