Would-be Minn. State Trooper given funeral send-off

2:30 PM, Mar 7, 2010   |    comments
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  • State Patrol troopers line up to escort John's body at his funeral.

PLYMOUTH, Minn. -- All 22-year-old John Weist  ever wanted was to be was a Minnesota state trooper.

He died before that dream came true.


So his parents, Kevin and Jennifer Weist, had one small wish for his funeral.


Kevin said, "We would have liked to have had a patrol car stop by and just be there for a moment."


They never dreamed of this.

Troopers from across the state showed up to honor Weist as one of the Minnesota State Patrol's finest at his funeral in Plymouth on Saturday, just one week after he passed away from cancer.

RELATED: Watch Boyd Huppert's story about John's life dream to be a Minnesota State Trooper. 

It turns out their son's big dreams made him a big inspiration to the more than 250  troopers, officers and State Patrol Explorers who filled half of St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church in Plymouth to say goodbye.


Trooper Tiffani Nielson was John's Explorer advisor.  She spoke at the funeral service and said, "I'm sad he's gone and I will miss him.  But I know he's moved on to his next adventure and he will have all his dreams fulfilled."


It's not the kind of honor most 22-year-olds get.  But John had been a trooper at heart for many years.


His dad, Kevin Weist said, "When John was small and he wasn't sure what to do we'd just look at him and say what would a trooper do?  And he would find the right answer and remember.  And that is what he modeled his life after."


At age 15, John became a trooper explorer.  But his battle cancer began shortly thereafter.


John's sister, Sasha Weist also spoke at the funeral and said, "When John first got sick and went in for his very first round of chemo, he brought home a teddy bear from the hospital gift shop for me.  He felt bad that I was scared and sad, even though he was the one who was getting treatment."


The cancer took John's leg but never his drive.


Nielson said, "If he wasn't designing new squad cars, he was talking about what kind of guns he would give us."


While John didn't live long enough to earn the title of state trooper, he was an honorary graduate of last year's state patrol academy.


His mother, Jennifer Weist said, "His goal was to be one of them and he worked very hard to be one of them."


At John's funeral there were  troopers and officers from more than 22 agencies.  There were also more than 30 patrol cars in his funeral procession.


With a send off like that, there is no doubt he really was one of them.


Nielson said, "He would have loved it.  He would love it just the uniforms, the colors, the lights, the squads.  I'm sure he's looking down with a big grin on his face because he would have loved it."


John Weist was buried at a cemetery in Bloomington in his state patrol uniform.

(Copyright 2010 by KARE 11. All Rights Reserved.)

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