ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - Family, friends and law enforcement officers gathered Friday to mourn the loss of Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Foley, who died last week when he was accidentally struck by a county transportation vehicle driven by another deputy.
Hundreds of relatives, friends and fellow law enforcement officers gathered at the Concord Pavilion to say their final goodbyes to the fallen deputy, a career public servant.
Flowers and photos will arrive in Friday morning as part of the tribute and salute to a man who served in law enforcement for four decades.
"He loved his job. He loved his career. He loved his family. He loved his community," Sgt. Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department said over the phone on Thursday.
Foley spent nearly 30 years with the Concord Police Department before he retired. Later, he went back to work. And for the past 10 years, he was with the sheriff's department in part to help pay for his 18-year-old son Michael's college education.
"Mike had set goals for his family and that's why he was working so hard for his family, so I think everybody can relate to that and appreciate that. And it shows you the character of the person he was," says Kelly.
Foley died one day after he was struck by a sheriff's department bus in the parking lot of the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.
In a Facebook post, one family member who called Foley "Uncle Mike”, questions "why is it always the good ones that are taken too soon and so suddenly? Who will carve the turkeys and do the bbq-ing? "
In his professional life, Foley was a mentor to hundreds of young officers throughout his career.
"At 60-years-old, he was the hardest working guy on his shift. He'd run circles around people half his age. It shows you the kind of person he was. He's a rare person, the type of person that any boss at any job would love to have," says Kelly.
The funeral services for Deputy Michael Foley began at 11 a.m. Friday.
He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son who plans to follow his father's footsteps into law enforcement.