Several hundred people gathered Monday to say their solemn goodbyes to Copperas Cove Mayor Frank Seffrood who died of cancer Dec. 28 at the age of 79.

Holy Family Catholic Church in Cove was filled with family members, friends and residents at the service Monday morning, followed by his burial with full military honors at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen.

Seffrood, an Army veteran who served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, was known for his commitment to the city and to his country.

“He always said, ‘Yes,’” said Kevin Keller, public information officer for Copperas Cove. Keller said he knew Seffrood for 12 years.

“Anytime someone would call on him to be at an event, he would say, ‘I’ll be there,’ even if he had two other events scheduled,” Keller said. “Whether it was the Polar Bear Plunge or a ceremony, he just managed to fit it in.”

In December, Seffrood was elected to serve a second term as mayor. He served the city as a councilman for more than six years before being elected mayor in 2015.

Keller said Seffrood was a “very active mayor.”

“He was always interacting with city employees and citizens,” he said. “He would come by City Hall every day. He wasn’t just the mayor, he was our friend and we’re going to miss him.”

Church service

The Copperas Cove Police Department Honor Guard helped family members bring the coffin into the church, where the priest blessed it with holy water and Seffrood’s grandchildren draped it in a traditional white caul.

The sanctuary echoed with “Amazing Grace” as the coffin was brought into the Catholic church, a painting of Jesus nearby. The words “Jesus, I Trust in You” were emblazoned in white on the artwork. An array of white candles flickered on the altar that was ringed with red poinsettias.

The Rev. Patrick Ebner, known as Father Patrick to his parishioners, spoke about Seffrood, who was a member of the church.

“When I visited with Frank before he died he seemed to be at peace,” Ebner said. “He was loved and cherished by his family.”

In his homily, Ebner spoke about humility, salvation and what it means to help others carry their crosses.

Following the 10 a.m. service, Seffrood was buried at the veterans cemetery with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute, the folding of the flag and the playing of taps.

The Wisconsin native leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Rita, three children and three grandchildren.

Rita Seffrood watched the flag being folded with her hand over her mouth, and received the flag and the soldier’s salute with a quiet strength.

Ebner encouraged people to continue to pray for and support the Seffrood family.

“May he rest in peace,” Ebner intoned.

“Amen,” the crowd responded.

Emily Hilley-Sierzchula is reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald. Reach her at emilys@kdhnews.com

Herald reporter

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