More than 250 people gathered Monday afternoon to celebrate the life of longtime Nevadan Archie Pozzi, Jr. and mourn his death.
Friends shared stories that rocked the congregation with laughter and others that brought listeners to tears.
"We are here today to stand the gap between tears and rejoicing," said Rev. Jeffrey Paul, who conducted the service in St. Peter's Episcopal Church.
"This was a man who gave himself to his family, his church, his community and his country," Paul said. "We are here today to honor that man and honor the God who made him."
Pozzi died Nov. 29 at the age of 81 after suffering a stroke. He was born in Oakland, Calif., and spent most of his life in Carson City.
A staunch Republican, he served Carson City and Ormsby County as an Assemblyman from 1955 to 1966 and as a senator from 1967 to 1974.
Former senator Coe Swobe remembered serving with Pozzi.
"I looked to Archie to show me the ropes," Swobe said. "He was a fighter for the programs he believed in."
Swobe told how Pozzi fought to use the same sandstone to build the Legislative Building that was used to build the Capitol. He said today's building always reminds him of Pozzi.
"Senator Pozzi's footprints are all over Carson City and all over the state," Swobe said. "He was a truly great Nevadan. I shall miss him."
One of Pozzi's most cherished roles was as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He served in World War II in the Pacific Theatre.
After the war, he was active in the Nevada Department of American Legion, where he served as commander, national vice-commander and as the national executive committeeman.
Ron Gutzman, the current commander of the legion, spoke at the funeral.
"He was a valuable asset to us in the Legislature - not only to us in the American Legion but to all veterans," Gutzman said of Pozzi. "He had two loves: Helen (Pozzi's wife) and the American Legion."
Pozzi joined his father in family's Carson City Ford dealership, Pozzi Motor Company, in 1946. Pozzi became the first president of the Nevada Franchised Automobile Dealers Association in 1962 and and served as the Nevada director to the national board.
Jimmy Woulfe served with him on the board.
"He was always talking states' rights just like he was from Mississippi or Alabama," Woulfe said. "There will never be another Archie."
To Archie, he said: "May the angels lead you to Paradise."
Pozzi graduated from Carson High School in 1936. At the same time, Justice Cameron Batjer was at Smith Valley High School and described Pozzi as a "golden boy."
Later, the two lived across the street from one another for 25 years.
"They were wonderful neighbors," Batjer said of the Pozzis. "Archie was always very outgoing and pleasant."
Paul told the congregation that the way to bridge the gap between tears and rejoicing was through memories - the sweet, the sad and the funny.
Batjer vowed that he would do so.
"We will always remember you, Archie," he said.
Pozzi was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, and is survived by his children Bruce and Kathie of Anchorage, Alaska, Bob of Reno and Steve of Carson City, Michelle of Danville, Calif., and four grandchildren as well as his sister, Virginia Pozzi Furman of Carson City.