Published: Aug 11, 2013 8:06 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fl. - Emotions spilled over into the community Saturday, as thousands lined the procession route that afternoon or stood silent watch outside the Charlotte Harbor Event Center Saturday morning.

Inside, an incredible tribute to a father, husband, and hero.  Family, friends, and law enforcement gathered to celebrate Sergeant Wilson's life.

"James 4:14 states that life is a vapor that appears for a little while then vanishes, although Mike's life was cut short, he gave his life doing what he loved," says Sheriff Bill Prummell.

A deputy, a family man, a friend.  42-year-old Sgt Mike Wilson will be remembered for his love for the job, his devotion to his wife and kids and his iconic smile.

"You've all heard, the grin, the smirk, called different things," says one deputy.

In the midst of the sorrow, those who knew him best are celebrating Sgt Wilson's life.  The joy he got from pulling pranks and making others laugh.

"I just hope there's no police radios in Heaven because, he's going to drive the angels crazy," laughs former Charlotte County Sheriff, Bill Cameron.

"Mike was eating these little Arby's cheeseball things that he would get and he started throwing them at my car... I'm looking at him, I go, Mike you do it again, I'm going to pepper spray you... he gets that grin and throws another one at my windshield... I pepper sprayed Mike wWlson that night," laughs another Deputy.

The happy stories transitioned to a solemn ceremony.  Allowing those who loved him to honor and always remember him.

"Mike will always be my hero."

"When Mike go to Heaven, God hugged him and he said, Mike you did good."

"Mike, we love you brother."