NEW BALTIMORE, Mich. (WXYZ) - Law enforcement and military personnel in New Baltimore are saying goodbye to a colleague, as loved ones celebrate the life of Patrick Wisniewski.
The New Baltimore Police Reserve Officer died Sunday in a traffic accident while off-duty.
Bells should never toll this early for anyone, but they have for Wisniewski, a 33-year-old father of five. Before his time as a reserve officer, Wisniewski spent 15 years in the Air National Guard. He was just months away from a full-time policing position when a motorist turned into Wisniewski's motorcycle on Sunday.
Wisniewski lost his life but not his brothers and sisters in uniform.
"It's amazing." said Gary Kughn, who stood outside St. Mary's Catholic Church with his Patriot Guard Riders for Wisniewski's funeral Saturday, "It makes you feel tiny in the contribution you've made to the world when you've got someone like that that has done so much and given so much."
"Pat was a good guy." said Jane Kincade, who served with Wisniewski in the Air National Guard, "Served his country well, ready to make the next step to serve his community, and his life was taken too short."
"That's the testament to Patrick in terms of service." said New Baltimore Police Chief Timothy Wiley.
It's in the name of service, those who serve and protect stood for a final salute and help shoulder the burden of saying goodbye. Those who knew Wisniewski say he would have done the same.
"Just his personality in terms of how he was with his children." said Wisniewski family friend Sharon Downey, "He just had a wonderful heart. He would help anybody that needed it, Pat would help them."
Wisniewski's final resting place will be at Great Lakes National Cemetary in Holly. Burial is set for Monday, June 10th at noon.
An account for donations for the family has been established through Michigan's Thin Blue Line at PNC Bank. Donations can be made at any PNC Bank. They can also be made at the New Baltimore Police Department at 37885 Green St. in New Baltimore or through the Thin Blue Line at P.O. Box 415 in Howell.
All donations should be marked ATTN: TBN/FBO Wisniewski Family
Gerald Lee Belcher, 64, was making a left-hand turn off of Jefferson onto 21 Mile Road when he reportedly struck Wisniewski. He was driving on a suspended license. Belcher is facing felony charges including; Operating with License Suspended Causing Death and Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Causing Death.