He was one of a kind and his death will leave a hole in the life of his family, friends and the police force.
On Monday a sea of blue police uniforms surrounded an overflowing St Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral in Wollongong as officers paid their last respects to Chief Inspector Graeme Donnelly.
Insp Donnelly, 52, died on August 16 after having a heart attack while riding around Lake Illawarra with friends.
Yesterday his cycling companions joined police colleagues and formed a guard of honour stretching from the cathedral along Harbour St.
Insp Donnelly's colleague Peter Lindwall and friend Neil Foster gave a joint eulogy.
They described the high-ranking officer's passion for the police force and his love for his wife Kerri and sons Aaron and Brad.
Mr Lindwall said the sheer number of fellow officers in attendance, including NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, was testament to how highly Insp Donnelly had been regarded in the community.
"He was a person no-one ever had a bad word to say about," Mr Lindwall said.
He also made reference to Insp Donnelly's previous career as a butcher and his skills behind a barbecue.
In a statement read at yesterday's service, Aaron Donnelly said his father's entire life had been dedicated to helping others.
"I don't think there's a person here who hasn't been impacted by his kindness," he said.
Mr Donnelly's wife Kerri said her husband had been a "selfless" man who gave his time "to so many people".
In a statement also read to the service, she recalled how proud he had been when his Brad announced he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a police officer.
Mr Scipione also spoke at the service and posthumously awarded Insp Donnelly the National Police Service Medal.
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