Community says goodbye today to HCSO Sgt. who died of COVID-19

HUMBLE, Texas (KTRK) -- Friends, family and brothers and sisters in blue are saying their final goodbyes to Harris County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski, who died after battling COVID-19.

Scholwinski, 70, started showing symptoms of the coronavirus on March 21 and went to the hospital eight days later.

He died on May 6.

EMBED More News Videos

Amazing Grace on bagpipes played as the flag-draped casket was saluted by colleagues.

The sergeant was a 39-year veteran of the sheriff's office.

WATCH: Honor escort for Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski
EMBED More News Videos

SkyEye followed the procession for Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski, who is being remembered as a great, kind man.

"There's not a better person to be around. You could take every adjective there ever was that was positive and you could apply that to Raymond Scholwinski," said Harris County Sheriff's Office captain Michael Koteres.

Dozens of deputies gathered the day after Scholwinski passed, all touched by the presence of a great man.

"He was the best man that I ever knew. He was kind. He always had time for everybody," said Sgt. Joe Halm.

A man that touched so many lives.

"He was the most humblest sergeant, the nicest sergeant, the sergeant who was patient and willing to help anybody that needed help," said Deputy Emilia Wheeler.

Some called him Uncle Ray. He wasn't just a fellow officer, he was family.

Scholwinski has been married to his wife, Rynda for almost 34 years, they have four children, two together. When we talked to his wife in April, she talked about the kind of generous man he was.

"He touches people's heart when they meet him. He has a way of never meeting a stranger," Rynda said.

Scholwinski is the first active duty Harris County Sheriff's deputy to die from COVID-19.

The funeral Thursday at First Assembly of God in Humble preceded a procession and ceremony with full honors.

The service was officiated by HCSO Lt. Shannon W. Bowdoin.

Speakers at the service included:

HCSO Chaplain Dr. Don Savell

The Rev. Ray Farley
Anthony Ray Scholwinski (son)
Brandi DeLane Scholwinski (daughter)
Matthew Cole Scholwinski (son)
Clinton Bryce Scholwinski (son)
HCSO Capt. Mike Koteras
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez

Last Guard and Service was performed by HCSO's Honor Guard, which included a last radio call, U.S. and Texas flag presentation to the family, rider-less horse, fly-over, 21-gun salute, and Taps.

Donations for Scholwinski's family may be made in his name to the Harris County Sheriff's Office Benevolence Association or through this GoFundMe Charity page.

EMBED More News Videos

A man who people said touched the lives of many. In the video above, ABC13's Marla Carter shows you the impact and long-lasting memories Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski leaves behind.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.