NEW BALTIMORE, Mich. - Family, friends and the New Baltimore community paid their final respects to Staff Sgt. Patrick Wisniewski on Saturday.
A funeral was held at 10 a.m. for the fallen New Baltimore officer who was killed in a motorcycle crash. The funeral will be at Mary's Catholic Church, which is located at 50931 Maria Street in New Baltimore.
There's no question that Staff Sgt. Patrick Wisniewski made an impact in the community, but his biggest accomplishment may have been in the home. Wisniewski left behind children who looked up to him and a wife who counted on him for support.
"They know daddy is up in heaven. They ask every once and awhile if daddy is going to come back down," said wife Jennifer on Friday.
Just five minutes before she got that dreadful call that her husband was killed in a motorcycle wreck, the couple's young children came to her with their wedding album from 2004.
"They never grab that wedding album. It's up high. They had to move a chair to get to that wedding album. We all sat there for five minutes and looked through it. I know that was a sign," said the grieving wife.
Wisniewski was on his way home from work at Selfridge Air National Guard base when he was hit and killed by a man who was driving on a suspended license.
It happened at 21 Mile and Jefferson on Sunday.
The military veteran wore multiple uniforms. He had been a reserve officer for the New Baltimore Police Department for the past two years and was about to become a paid officer for the department.
"My kids would line up at the front door and they will go 'dad, you're going out to protect us from the bad guys'. They would hug and kiss him and high-5 him out the door," said Wisniewski.
Friday afternoon officers from around the metro area took part in a procession from the Gendernalik Funeral Home to the air base for the visitation.
Along the route there were signs that the Wisniewski family is not grieving alone.
A grieving wife speaks:
In a statement Jennifer Wisniewski wrote, "First I would like to first offer my most heartfelt thanks to all of the people who have offered their support during this difficult time – including the Selfridge Community, the New Baltimore Police Department, the first responders at the accident scene, the Thin Blue Line, McLaren hospital, all of our family and friends and the wonderful support from the surrounding communities outside of our own.
I want you all to know how special Pat was to all of us. He was a hero. Not only was my husband a hero because he chose to serve our country both in the military and police department, he was a hero as a husband, father, brother and a son. Pat loved his family more than life itself. He truly was our strength, our protector, provider and our support system.
Patrick was the most dedicated and humble man I have ever known. He took pride so unselfishly in every aspect of his life. For those of you who didn't know my husband personally - he had an amazing heart of gold and would always be there to comfort and support anybody in need. He was so handsome and his presence would light up the room. He was an outstanding cook – an amazing cook – and enjoyed entertaining family and friends. He loved NASCAR, country music, debating politics – you would never want to get into that with him because you'd be stuck for an hour – and had an uncanny memory for 80's pop culture.
A lot of people have been asking how the kids and I are doing. At this moment we're taking things hour by hour, day by day and feeling the comfort in knowing he is watching over us and continues to give us the strength he has always shown. We lost an amazing husband and father yet we gained a more amazing guardian angel."
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