HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A large crowd of police officers and FBI agents were among those in the large crowd that attended the funeral mass Saturday morning of Huntington Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Huntington.
Father Dean Borgmeyer told the crowd it’s difficult to understand why Ciccarelli would have to suffer.
“We all don’t want to accept that right off the bat that why one who serves, who serves very well comes down with cancer,” Borgmeyer said.
Borgmeyer said there was one virtue that could named that would be hope.
“Why do you all serve?” Borgmeyer asked the law enforcement in the crowd. “Hope. That our city and our communities may be better places that God intends for us to be. We need your help whether it’s a good or bad day.”
FBI Agent Matt Hoke said he was mentored by Ciccarelli.
“Besides my father, who was an FBI Agent for 26 years, I had no greater mentor than Joe. He taught me, he protected me, he guided me, I would have failed without him,” Hoke said, choking back tears.
Other speakers talked about Ciccarelli’s ability to look into his past and connect it to the present and that returning to Huntington to be its police chief was a dream come true.
The funeral mass followed a first responder procession that began at Wallace Funeral Home.
Ciccarelli, a Chester, W.Va. native, died Monday at the age of 60 after a two-year battle of pancreatic cancer.
Huntington Mayor Steve Williams told MetroNews earlier this week, to his amazement, Ciccarelli never showed he was sick on the job.
“Really until the last four or five months he continued to operate until there was absolutely nothing wrong. His trademark smile, his giggle — he was just as active as can be in the community,” Williams said.