CHICAGO (CBS) -- Friends, family, colleagues, and the entire city on Monday said thank you and goodbye to Andrew "Drew" Price, a Chicago firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty in Lincoln Park one week ago.
"Drew held a unique ability to make everyone near him feel special. He had an unrelenting and unselfish concern for the safety and well-being of others. A natural caretaker at heart, he couldn't help but put his own priorities aside to make sure everyone else's needs were above his own," said his brother, Jordan. "He was so full of life, positivity, and a wild sense of adventure that it was hard to imagine anything or anyone bringing him down."
He had a huge heart, cared for others, and loved his job.Drew's loved ones shared stories about the man they said was thankful for every minute of his life - a life that ended abruptly one week ago at the age of 39.
"One last time, good morning my guy. Your brothers and sisters from Truck 44 and Engine 55 miss you and love you," said CFD Capt. John Haring, Drew's commanding officer.
Drew's widow stood at the edge of Navy Pier on Monday, surrounded by his colleagues from the Chicago Fire Department, overwhelmed in her grief.
"We say thank you for sharing Drew with us," said Battalion Chief John Gallagher, Drew's former captain.
Drew's loved ones recalled how he lived his life with gratitude. During a solo trip to Hawaii, he adopted his new slogan and mantra "mahalo" – the Hawaiian word to express thanks – which he often paired with the shaka hand sign – a "hang loose" gesture often associated with Hawaiian surf culture.
"On our truck, Drew would see civilians waving all the time, and he would always return it with the shaka mahalo," said CFD Capt. John Haring. "There's a generation of kids in Lincoln Park right now that give that sign to Truck 44 all the time."
The fire truck that Drew once drove brought him home one last time on Monday, carrying his cremated remains to the memorial service, as his uniform draped the front of the driver's seat, from which he used to wave to the neighborhood he served.
"I hope you have big waves to catch, nice sunshine on you, and a nice warm breeze at your back," Gallagher said.
One colleague recalled a touching exchange during his final call, while responding to a fire at a restaurant in Lincoln Park one week ago.
"Pointed out the light shafts, looked at the sunrise coming up with the skyline behind him. He told Firefighter Mora, 'Mahalo brah, lets get to work.' Drew always took time see the best parts of life," Haring said.
Loved ones remembered Drew's 14-year career, his love for his two dogs, for his family, and for Chicago.
"He gave a piece of himself to each and every person he encountered, and I can honestly say that I've never met anyone quite like him," said his brother, Jordan.
After the funeral, Truck 44 carried Drew's ashes to their final resting place.
He was the fourth member of the Chicago Fire Department to die in the line of duty this year, the most in one year for Chicago in more than a decade.
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