SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — The life of Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Yates was honored during a funeral service at First Christian Church in Springfield Monday.

Family and friends packed the church to say their final goodbyes. The service opened with Pastor Darryl May, and songs by Par Tolliver and Doug Toles Jr. Pastor Bruce Sigman read scripture and Marlene Avery read Yates’ obituary.

There were several speakers, including a few of Yates’ coworkers, Clark County Sheriff Deborah Burchett, Yates’ father, Eugene, and his two sons, Anthony and Andrew.

Deputy Matthew Harris spoke about his friendship with Deputy Yates.

“When I told him that I’d been hired at the county, he was so excited for me. He took me out to buy my first belt, he gave me my first handcuff case, he gave me my first belt keepers,” Harris said.

Deputy John Loney also spoke during the service. He shared several stories about Yates and how he always knew how to make people feel better.

“Words cannot describe how sad I am that you’re gone, not being able to call you, to talk about your day or just our normal chats, asking me, ‘you good?’, will forever leave me feeling empty,” Loney said.

Sheriff Burchett read a poem and also shared funny memories of Yates.

“He was a brute on the outside, but a gentle giant on the inside,” Burchett said.

Deputy Yates was taken to his final resting place in a SWAT truck. His two sons were pallbearers.

The service was a special tribute to a man the community will never forget.

“Matthew, we all love you. You will never be gone. You always be in our hearts. We have it from here, please rest peacefully,” Sheriff Burchett said.