PASADENA – Hundreds, including most of the Pasadena police force, said goodbye to a fallen officer on Friday.
“Officer (Larry) Candelari, in my view, was a cop’s cop,” said Pasadena Police Chief Mike Thaler.
“He was a great guy, everybody knows that,” said Alec Candelari, Larry’s son.
“(Larry) was upbeat,” said Pasadena Assistant Police Chief Bud Corbett. “He was energetic. He just made you feel good to be around him.”
Friends said Candelari lived to serve and died serving.
While off-duty, he and fellow officer Mike Huffman stopped to help victims of a car crash on Interstate 10 in Kerrville. Both men were hit when a tractor-trailer crashed into the scene. Officer Huffman lost part of a leg. He’s still recovering in a hospital in San Antonio. Candelari’s family lost much more.
“Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldn’t even be there,” said Larry’s son, Seth, quoting a saying from his father. “Eighty are just targets. Nine are real fighters and we are lucky to have them. One was a true warrior and he is the one that will bring others back. That was dad.”
“I never told him, but he was my ultimate hero and following in his footsteps is all I ever wanted to do,” said son Alec.
Like their dad, Alec is a marine and Sethis an officer. However, their next step is likely their hardest yet. Though, it will not be one they take alone.
“His time here is done, but I do know this: if heaven’s angels should ever falter, he will pick them up too,” said Lt. John Dombrowa, a friend of Candelari. “That’s who he was. We all loved him for it.”