Gates, N.Y. (WHAM) - Funeral services were held Tuesday morning in Gates for a long-time volunteer firefighter.
The Gates Fire District says Joseph Manuse died suddenly over the weekend while he was off-duty after complications from a bee sting.
Services were held at St. Jude’s Church on Lyell Road. Hundreds of people streamed into the church, many of whom were brothers and sisters in firefighting.
Manuse was a volunteer firefighter for the past 29 years and an employee with the Gates Fire District for the past 11 years.
"Joe couldn't go anywhere in this town without kids yelling, 'There's Fireman Joe!'" said friend Derek Hardy.
He says family was important to Manuse.
"He couldn't speak enough about his parents or his young daughter, Alexa," said Hardy.
"The question remains, where do we go from here?" he added. "Everyone feels the same. We just lost a best friend and don't know what to do."
"I think we have all been reaching for some kind of explanation," something to sort all of this out," said Fr. Robert Kennedy of St. Jude's Church.
Hardy says his friend's legacy will live on through those he helped over the years.
"He was a beacon of the community, a natural and true force," he said. "He was a man who stood among giants and rose above them."
Manuse was also a graduate of Gates-Chili High School and had been a resident of Gates for three decades. Over the weekend, red ribbons were placed around the Town of Gates in his memory.