ROME, Ga - Cadet Patrick Dupree's family says his goal was to be a Georgia State Patrol trooper and eventually work in the aviation unit. He was well on his way to achieving that goal when he died.
Shanna Dupree says her husband, Patrick, was a walking angel on earth.
"He was an honorable, admirable, inspirational, motivational man, very caring. He made you feel safe and secure," said Shanna Dupree.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety says Cadet Dupree was training at the Public Safety Training Center last week.
He collapsed after finishing an exercise. Dupree was rushed to the hospital where he died.
"Last month, he told me, ‘If I go out, I want to go out doing what I love.’ He was at that trooper training, doing what he loved, reaching for his goals. I'm proud of him," said Shanna.
Shanna says her husband was a family man. They have a daughter and two sons. She says he had many interests, from motorcycles to music, as well as a passion for football.
Patrick Dupree was a Coosa High School standout who went on to play semi-pro ball. He continued to play even after he started working in law enforcement.
First it was at the Cave Spring Police Department and then the Euharlee Police Department for six years.
"He said enforcement reminds me of a football team, that's what he said. He felt like, when we're a team, we gotta go out there and help and save the community," said Shanna.
Shanna says he taught his family to be strong and to stand on their own. They say it's his strength and their faith that is helping them now.
"To make sure we're strong, whether he's here or not, and it's not a loss, it's a win because God got him right now," said his daughter, Taliah Hayes.
"We miss him and he's going to be everywhere in our life. Everywhere, because we have him in our heart and we're going to make sure that we can replicate him and share him with our love and our grace," said Shanna.
Visitation is set for Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Owen Funeral Home located at 12 Collins Drive in Cartersville.
A celebration of life will take place Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Clarence Brown Conference Center on Georgia Highway 20 across from the Cartersville campus of Georgia Highlands College.
Daniel's Funeral Home in Rome is in charge of arrangements.