CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - Family and friends describe Lyle Heffernan as hard-working, humble and passionate.
Heffernan worked in the agriculture field for years, employed with South Texas Implement Company and Robstown Hardware. He was a service coordinator for decades, but some would say he was a tractor expert.
"Farming, agriculture and John Deere," Lyle's wife Deb Heffernan said. "That was his life. He lived it. He breathed it."
Heffernan was diagnosed with cancer in early January, and on Feb. 1, he passed away. He was 57.
"Lyle was unique," Deb said.
One week after his passing, family and friends gathered to say one last goodbye to Lyle at the Oak Ridge Baptist Church in Portland.
Lyle had two requests before he was laid to rest -- to be buried in his Robstown Hardware uniform, and for his casket to be hauled from the church to the cemetery via a John Deere tractor.
Those requests were representative of who Lyle was, according to his longtime friend and co-worker Jonathan Hinze.
"Lyle was hands down the most respected serviceman in all of South Texas," Hinze said.
After a memorial service Tuesday, Lyle's casket was loaded onto a trailer by his friends and taken to a cemetery in Portland with fellow farmers following in their vehicles.
Hinze described Lyle as someone who would help anyone, whether it was a tractor repair or not; and, he added, Lyle was especially passionate about John Deere.
"There's not a doubt in my mind the man has green blood in his veins," Hinze said.
Lyle's wife Deb hopes everyone remembers her husband as kind and compassionate, as well as a hard-working man who didn't take shortcuts.
"Not simple-minded," Deb said. "Very intelligent. Always trying to do the right thing and live a good life."
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