AURORA, Colo. -- On Saturday, dozens of people filled the Heritage Christian Center in Aurora to celebrate the life and legacy of Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan.
Hogan died last Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 69 years old. The mayor was elected in 2011 and was instrumental in unifying the community after the theater shooting in 2012 that killed 12 people.
Hogan was a well-respected city leader who was considered "the heart of Aurora." His friend Rick Crandall delivered the eulogy.
"The best life Steve lived didn't just benefit him; it helped us all," said Crandall.
Before his passing, Hogan penned a farewell letter to the city.
"Aurora is my heart. She has gracefully transitioned from a gateway suburb on the plains to the 54th largest city in the country," Hogan wrote.
Friends agreed he put his all into making Aurora better.
"Steve Hogan lived every second of his life for others -- a servant's life that we would all do well to strive for," said Crandall.
Hogan's son Timothy recounted memories from his childhood as his father dedicated over 40 years of his life to politics.
“I always tried to make time individually to make us feel special," said Hogan.
Friends and colleagues said it was a fitting tribute for a man who served this city so well.
"He was a model of what I would tell my children I would want an elected -- an appointed official to be," said colleague Mike Beasley.
"He was truly a man of grace and gratitude and an inspiration to many of us," said friend Peggi O'Keef.
Many said it was a privilege to know a man from whom one could learn valuable lessons, particularly in regard to transforming Aurora into the place it is today.
"Without folks like him, it wouldn’t be possible," said Beasley.AlertMe