BOZEMAN, Mont. - Hundreds gathered Friday morning to honor the life and service of Gallatin County Sheriff's Deputy Jake Allmendinger.
Allmendinger was killed in the line of duty on Saturday, October 19, after becoming pinned under his sliding car while trying to reach a stranded driver on Fairy Lake Road near Bozeman. He was just 31 years old.
Butte-raised, Allmendinger moved with his family to Belgrade at the age of 16, soon after meeting his high school sweetheart, Monica. The two were married in 2009 and had three children (8-year-old Bentley, 5-year-old Lexi, and one-year-old Kai).
A celebration of life took place on Friday morning at the Journey Church in Bozeman, which included a flyover, video tributes, gun salute, worship, and a procession of more than 250 law enforcement and first responder vehicles shutting down Bozeman's Main Street and Huffine Lane.
Governor Steve Bullock was in attendance at the funeral, after declaring a day earlier that all flags in the state of Montana be flown at half-staff on Friday in honor of the fallen deputy.
Allmendinger served as a Sheriff's Deputy for two years, as well as a Gallatin County Search and Rescue dive volunteer for eight and an emergency dispatcher for seven.
A celebration of life in the funeral program read, in part:
"Jake was loved by many. He was known simply as the gentle giant with a gentle spirit. He was a very loyal person, with a great sense of humor. Jake's simple pleasure in life was spending time with his family. As a family they enjoyed going for walks, hiking, barbequing, spending time at the lake boating, bowling, watching movies, and just spending time together. His love for his wife Monica and their children was an unimaginable love. Jake was always involved with his family and had so much love for each and everyone of them.
Jake loved music of all kinds. His passion however was sports. Jake loved softball where he was known as 'Big Jake' who hit clean up for his team. Jake also loved playing basketball, where he played varsity for the Belgrade Panthers. He then continued with playing adult league. Jake also loved playing ice hockey. He loved barbequing with family and friends, playing corn hole always yelling 'winner, winner chicken dinner!' We don't think he ever lost."