To his colleagues, he was a senior detective with Cleveland Police who had showed "great compassion" and "professional dedication" throughout his 30-year career.
His full police funeral was a reflection of the esteem in which Det Chief Supt Stewart Swinson was held. So too, were the hundreds of relatives, friends and colleagues who turned up to pay tribute.
His wife and two children led the service at St Mary Magdelene church in Yarm, on Teesside. Colleagues performed a Guard of Honour when the cortege arrived.
The detective had been away from his job as Head of Crime with sickness for several weeks before he was found dead on land close to Yarm High Street. His death has not been treated as suspicious.