MILWAUKEE -- A community grieves saying its final goodbye to Milwaukee icon and cycling legend, Chris Kegel.
While singing Ave Maria, mourners sobbed over the loss of Chris Kegel. Gathered at St. Matthias Catholic Parish on Saturday, February 18th, they not only shared embraces but fond memories.
"To know him as a little kid and see how he's progressed; his love for bikes and people. It's amazing that he made such a mark," said Josephine Winter, aunt.
After nearly 40 years as a bicycle advocate and owner of Wheel and Sprocket, Kegel has impacted lives in many ways.
"Chris was such a huge presence in so many people's lives," said Robbie Webber, bicycle advocate.
Many different people carry the same sentiment.
"Just giving to everyone, his time, his energy. Just a huge loss. We are going to miss him a lot," said Webber.
Kegel passed away Tuesday, February 7th, after a battle with a rare and aggressive form of liver cancer. Saturday, the mass to pay last respects was intimate, however love and support was shown well before this day -- especially during the time of diagnosis at his "Slow Roll."
"It was amazing, especially his bike ride that he had last fall and how many people showed up, and for the party he was here, had a great time and just wanted to see his friends and family. It was really inspiring," said Winter.
The joy and positivity he brought to others remains.
"The advice that he always gave was really all stuff that lasts and his legacy will live on; like follow your moral compass and try to always be the best person you can be," said Dave Schlabowske, deputy director of Wisconsin Bike Club.
Words his wife and four children live by as well.
"I love him then, I love him still, rest in peace dad," said Noel, Kegel's son.