Loved ones, fellow officers remember Deputy Jacob Keltner

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WOODSTOCK, Ill. (WIFR) -- Thousands gathered Wednesday at Woodstock North High School to mourn the loss of McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Keltner.

Kendall Koenig, the pastor of Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Algonquin, spoke throughout the emotional ceremony, mentioning many of Keltner's qualities and contributions.

Keltner was a devout Christian with a tattoo of a cross on his shoulder. Koenig also remembered the deputy as a Cubs fan and passionate baby whisperer.

“Friends, we are not heroes because of how we die; we are heroes because of how we live, and you have lived it,” Koenig said.

Two men who worked with Keltner in the U.S. Marshals service also shared anecdotes and emotional words during the service, emphasizing how hard Keltner worked.

"Jake Keltner, was not only a hero. He was and always will be remembered first as being an exceptional and proud father, a loving and devoted husband, a loved and cherished son, a loyal and great friend, an American patriot," said Tony Penna, a member of the U.S. Marshals Great Lake Task Force, as he choked back tears. "Jake, I'll always be with you and have your six. I'll never forget, and I'll see you on the other side. I love you."

Members of the McHenry County and Winnebago County sheriff's departments joined representatives of the Rockford Police Department to pay tribute to Keltner one final time.

Keltner was shot and killed last week while serving a warrant at a Rockford hotel. He was working with the U.S. Marshals Service Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force.

To learn how you can support the Keltner family, click here​.