Friends and family gathered to remember a Clayton man tragically killed in a Florida movie theatre.
Chad Oulson lived a full throttle life and his family and friends celebrated that life at a special memorial service on Saturday.
"If I had known 5 months ago when I hugged him goodbye that it would be the last time I would have held on a little longer."
These heartfelt words from Chad Oulson's niece showed how dearly he was loved by the friends and family that gathered at the Glory Worship Center in Clayton on Saturday.
Family members comforted each other while stories of Oulson's full throttle life brought smiles and tears to faces.
Pictures and mommentos told the story of a man who loved life and loved to live it to the full.
Chad Oulson was born in 1970 in Alton but move to Clayton when he was 9 months old.
Linda Clark knew Chad when he was a student at Brown County High School.
"He was a great guy," says Clark."He was funny as they said here at the memorial that he was full throttle all the time. I spent time with him at his parents house, when he was a kid in High School or whatever. And he's gonna be dearly missed, dearly missed."
Chad Oulson was an avid dirt bike rider.
He served his country with honor for 8 years when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1990.
The two greatest loves of Chad Oulson's life were his wife Nicole and their 22 month old daughter Alexis.
Family spokesman Travis Wiseman says that making sense of Oulson's untimely death is challenge for his family.
" Why we are here is hard to take, the tragedy in it," says Wiseman. "Just the senselessness in it is really difficult to overcome."
Pastor Terry Cain officiated the service and says it's important that Chad Oulson be remembered for more than the tragic way he died.
" Senseless acts, cruel acts sometimes define a person's life and it shouldn't," says Pastor Cain. " His life was defined by the love that he had for his family, that little girl. His love for life. The impression that his life made upon this earth. And just to remember the cruelty of his death doesn't do him justice."
During the service Chad mother was presented with the American Flag in recognition of his service to the country.