By CBSNewYork Team

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Family, friends and community members said their final farewells to a retired Bergen County firefighter Saturday.

Bagpipes were played, a flag was raised and there was a procession of blue lights at the funeral for Lawrence “Larry” Rauch.

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Larry Rauch (Credit: Vander Plaat Funeral Home)

Rauch died Sunday, Feb. 21.

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He served in the U.S. Navy for four years and was a member of the Upper Saddle River Fire Department for 49 years. He held the title of fire chief five times.

The mayor of Upper Saddle River remembered Rauch as a man of service who had a passion for teaching life skills.

“He recruited so many younger members and, you know, gave them a brotherhood, a community, a purpose, a love of service, plus skills to fight fires, so he saved lives in more ways than one,” Mayor Joanne Minichetti said.

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Rauch died a week and a half shy of his 79th birthday.

CBSNewYork Team