Family, friends and students wept.
More than 300 people united Saturday in Carson High School's gym to pay homage to a man known as "Mack daddy."
"I've thought of this and I've shed a tear over this," said Principal Glen Adair, as he gave a eulogy. "And I don't think there may be an answer to the question, 'Why?'"
Mack Wilson died of cancer on Sept. 21. He was the building superintendent for the high school and worked there for the past eight years.
Pat Wilson, Wilson's wife, said the students at the high school recognized her husband as more than just the building manager.
"One student, named Greg, wrote: 'You are one of the most respected teachers at Carson High - and you may not think that you are a teacher, but you are one.'"
Mrs. Wilson added, "He was a teacher of kindness, a teacher of love, a teacher of hope, and he did it without people knowing that he was teaching them."
The hour-and-a-half ceremony included tributes from staff and faculty members, musical numbers by students, and a photo presentation. It was capped by a balloon release in the high school parking lot.
Adair, who said Wilson was his best friend, broke down at one point in the eulogy to cry.
Pointing to the four corners of the gymnasium, Adair said this is the place where Wilson would have felt the most at home.
He joked about a hole in the gym floor and how it would irk Wilson.
"What you see here is from all of us," Adair said. "We are all so needy. A wife, a child, a family and friends -we need to hear his voice. See his smile. We all gathered here today out of that great sense of need. From where we get some comfort for that need."
Tamara Hesse, a student from 1998, spoke for all the students who had already graduated.
"His passing has not only affected us here today," she said, "but those who have graduated and gone on.
"We loved and respected him," she said.
Jordan Payette, a senior, said that Wilson often joked with members of the basketball team.
"I was thinking that the world needs many more people like him, but heaven must also need people like him," Payette said.
Carson coach Jeff Evans said that he and Wilson had shared many a laugh together. On numerous occasions he had golfed with him.
"He's going to be missed."
Rob Streeter, a teacher, said, "Everyone should have a person that you can go to in a time of need, and someone you can pal around with. He was a shoulder I could lean on."
Pat Wilson told parents to cherish every minute, every hour that they share with their children.
"If nothing else, listen to them," she said. "Mack was always there to listen to them."