NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Loved ones say it was only fitting to have a celebration of life for deputy Stephen Reece. Not only because he lived a life worth celebrating, but that he loved celebrating as well. 

Even though it was a celebration, it was hard to hold back the tears. Reece, a military veteran, had served Middle Tennessee as a police officer for nearly 20 years, most recently as a deputy with the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office. 

“One of the most trained, responsible and prepared people I’ve ever seen. It just happened I guess because it was his final calling. Steve was called away because he was needed in a more important place than any of us sitting here,” said Sheriff Breedlove to the mourning crowd. 

A showing of support from Reece’s brothers and sisters in blue from across the state. Those who knew Reece loved him, while those who didn’t still had aching hearts.

“It breaks your heart to lose a colleague even if you didn’t work with him all of us are on the same mission, gotta quit seeing each other at funerals,” said Belle Meade Police Chief Tim Eads. 

In addition to friends and family, complete strangers came out to show support. 

“They said it was open to the public and I said I want to come and they were kind enough to invite me to sing a song and I hope they know it blesses me just as much as it did them,” Vince Gill told News 2.

Gill sang “Go Rest High on that Mountain” during the service. 

“You know I never met the guy, just trying to show love to a stranger and be grateful to a guy who did what he did for his career and what they do I don’t think they get near the love they deserve,” he explained. 

From the stage, Gill told the family “whenever you need me don’t be afraid to call.”

As difficult as it is to say goodbye, his loved ones say his work here is done.