BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (WLS) -- Hundreds gathered Friday to pay their respects to and celebrate the life of Bradley Police Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic, who was killed in the line of duty last week.
Police from all over the state were on hand for the somber farewell at the funeral service at the chapel Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.
Sergeant Rittmanic was 49 years old and had just been honored as "Officer of the Year" for all of Kankakee County. She spent the last 21 years in law enforcement, the last 14 years with the Bradley Police Department.
Her wife, Lyn Stua, gave an emotional eulogy about their life together and about their love for each other. She spoke about her anger and asked for swift justice as well as to keep Officer Tyler Bailey in their prayers.
"You are my whole reason for living<' Stua said. "You are my hero and my heart is empty without you."
Those who knew her said she wrote poetry. One of her poems she penned in 2001 is printed in her funeral program. In it, she talks about police officers and how one day they may be called to pay the ultimate sacrifice.
One line reads, "Beyond the call of duty one day might be mine. No regrets, sorrow or fear as I walk the blue line."
Her squad car was parked outside the chapel as patrol cars from dozens of jurisdictions stood ready to participate in a procession.
Last Wednesday, Rittmanic and her partner, 27-year-old Tyler Bailey, responded to a call at a hotel in Bradley.
When they knocked on a door, prosecutors say Darius Sullivan chased her down, then allegedly shot and killed her with her own gun. Officer Bailey was also shot and remains in the hospital.
"The color we bleed is that of deep blue.
The blood that is shed is without asking for who.
No choice in what we do, where we go or when we die.
The color we bleed is that of deep blue.
All too often one will pay the ultimate price.
Those who wear the uniform accept the sacrifice.
Beyond the call of duty one day might be mine.
No regrets, sorrow or fear as I walk the blue line.
The color I'll bleed is that of deep blue."