SAN ANTONIO – As rain drummed down on them, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard carried Paul Elizondo's flag-covered coffin into San Fernando Cathedral.
Much of Elizondo's 83 years was spent in public service -- whether as a Marine, a Texas state representative, an educator in two school districts or as the county commissioner for Bexar County Precinct 2.
"Everything he did, what he has provided to the county, as well as to this great city, really made a tremendous impact," said Karen Rolirad, executive director for the county's Military and Veterans Service Center.
Daniel Barrett, chairman of the Center for Health Care Services, said he'd known Elizondo for 35 years.
"He was a great friend, a champion for the little guy. He did so much for the community," Barrett said.
Personal and professional ties mixed in over the decades.
Gilbert Gonzalez, director of the county's Department of Behavioral and Mental Health, remembered Elizondo as a "very, very capable statistician" who "had a heart of gold," but also as the man who played his wedding decades ago.
"He was one of the most incredible band leaders, and he was the one that if you really were hot, you got the Elizondo band," Gonzalez recalled.
Not everyone was close to the commissioner, or even acquainted. Leticia Gonzales, a housekeeper at the courthouse, said she knew Elizondo only by reputation, but she'd heard he was an "awesome" man.
"Some housekeepers there, I think they cleaned his office and stuff, and they told me good things about him," Gonzales said. "And I just come to pay my last respects, and no more suffering for him and he'll be in a better place."
Elizondo's funeral mass will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at San Fernando Cathedral. His entombment service afterward at the San Fernando II mausoleum will be open only to family and close friend— though the county invited anyone wishing to pay their respects to do so along the funeral procession route.