It was a cold, windy morning outside the Holy Family Church in Mason City Monday.
Inside was a warm memorial for Shelly Lair-Langenbau.
She died last Wednesday night along with two others when her helicopter crashed into a field outside of Ventura.
Friends describe her true as a true hero who helped save the lives of so many through her work as a nurse.
“Her goal in life was to become a flight nurse,” said Stacey Wood, a friend of Langenbau.
“She loved her job, she loved what she did. She was committed to her job,” said Denise Surat, a co-worker from Mercy Medical Center North Iowa.
Langenbau was a mother of four and the wife of Worth County Sheriff Jay Langenbau.
She was a native Iowan who grew up in the community she served.
“I watched her grow up and go to college. She was very determined,” said Wood.
Langenbau was not only honored Monday by friends and family members, but by fellow public servants from all over northern Iowa.
“It was very packed in there. There was a lot of law enforcement,” Surat said.
“Paramedics and the nursing staff from the hospital were there,” Wood told Channel 13 News.
As she was taken to her final resting place, the procession more than 100 cars long was greeted by an American flag hanging high above the road.
“It made your heart hurt when the flag was flying over the highway and people were stopping and putting their hands over their heart. It was very touching,” said Wood.
It was a fitting tribute to a woman who always fought for others.