Hundreds gather to remember beloved firefighter, Nick Riordan - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds gather to remember beloved firefighter, Nick Riordan

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -

Wednesday morning much of central Illinois remembered a beloved firefighter, husband, father, son and friend. 

Hundreds gathered for Nick Riordan's funeral at Northwoods Community Church. 

Riordan tragically lost his battle to cancer. 

It's no question Nick Riordan left a legacy. Although there were a lot of tears at the funeral, there were also smiles and laughs, as people remembered the impact Nick had on so many lives. 

Pat and Cherie Wayne are family friends. When they learnt of Nick's passing, they felt deep sadness but thankfulness, because he no longer had to suffer.

They said Nick was so loved and someone people spoke highly of. 

"My son had a lot of respect for him, for the kind of person he was, for the deep faith he had in God and apparently anyone who knew him knew that," said family friend, Becky Ellenwood. 

Her son worked with Nick and always helped him when he could. 

"He went to visit and helped them with things she needed help with, just trying to lift him up and encourage them," stated Ellenwood. 

Also in attendance, Cristine Harrison and Krista Sheppard. They worked with Nick as 911 dispatchers in McLean County. They said he always found a way to cheer up the room and said he dreamed of being a firefighter. 

"It's good to have a good turnout for your final days, of course, he meant so much to so many people and it must have been an impressionable life he had," stated family member, Dan Hettinger. 

Many people said despite the suffering Nick went through, he always found the good in things, up until his last breath. 

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