JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A Jacksonville police officer found dead in his patrol car in front of the Sheriff's Office last week was laid to rest Tuesday.

Ed Krawcyzk, 46, was a 20-year veteran of the department and a member of the K9 unit. His death was ruled a suicide.

He was buried at Jacksonville National Cemetery. Before the burial, a memorial was held at the Saint Paul's Catholic Church in Riverside. Officers gave a solemn salute as they carried the flag-covered casket out of the church.

Krawcyzk was married with three children and had been battling a rare form of throat and mouth cancer for five or six years.

Krawcyzk was on duty overnight and expected to get off at 4 a.m. last Friday.

When he couldn't be reached overnight, dispatch alerted officers and he was found dead inside his patrol car around 2 a.m. just outside the Police Memorial Building on Bay Street.

In January 2009, Krawczyk noticed a tumor on his neck that grew to the size of a grapefruit. Krawczyk didn't use tobacco products and his doctors were puzzled.

"It's crazy, they said I had a better chance getting struck by lightning in Florida than getting this cancer," Krawczyk said then.

His fellow officers held a spaghetti dinner benefit to help his family pay medical bills.

"It has been unbelievable, the amount of support we've had from our friends and family. If it was not for the love, prayers and support of these people we would not have been able to make it through," said Krawczyk's wife, Susan.

At that time, Krawczyk was looking forward to returning to the force.

"He said, 'Hey, I'm going to beat this.' He said, 'Hey, I'm going to be back, I'm going to be back in this uniform and help protect the citizens of this city,'" said fellow officer Charlie Wilkie, Krawczyk's best friend.

Wilkie said Krawcyzk was built like a soldier and had a real soft spot for his children. He said that in four years, Krawcyzk beat cancer twice, all while doing the job he loved so much.

Wilkie said Krawcyzk underwent months of treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, the rare and often times aggressive throat and mouth cancer.

In August 2010, he had a setback, with a cancerous tumor removed from his femur and hip socket.

By 2011, Krawcyzk had lost nearly 30 pounds but was cancer free and back to work with a renewed hope and spirit.

Close friends say the devoted father had seemed more tired and preoccupied in his final days, but because of his strong front and no-nonsene attitude, they didn't push for an explanation.