Reporter: Claire Doan
Web Producer: Mekita Rivas
NACO, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - More than 100 people honored Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie during a candlelight vigil at St. Michael's Catholic Parish Thursday night. Friends, family, agents from Border Patrol and community members gathered in rememberance of the fallen hero and grateful for his service and sacrifice.
"Nicholas Ivie was a loving husband, father, friend to everybody," said his brother Chris Ivie.
Agent Joel Ivie recalled a story he heard only recently about his younger brother: while on patrol in a remote area, Ivie came across a pregnant woman who had lost her shoes and carried her for one and a half miles.
He said it's a testament to his sibling's big heart and humility: "I never knew that, because Nick wasn't one to boast about things that he did. That was just who he was, a part of his normal life."
But that normal life was one of a hero, one undeterred by the danger of serving near the border -- one who, like other members of Border Patrol, allow the rest of us to take safety for granted.
"These guys have dangerous jobs," said Vicar Seth Polley, who helped organized the vigil. "They don't have a lot of back up because they have a lot of territory to patrol and they're often by themselves."
However, without Agent Ivie, his family and friends said they feel like they're now by themselves -- without the prankster who buried his brother's truck in the snow and wthout the favorite uncle of so many nieces and nephews.
"The thought is in the back of your head," said Chris Ivie. "We've all thought about it, but it happens so rarely you think it will never happen to us. But it did."
For many, the vigil was as much about accepting that brutal reality as it was about remembering the good times; about sharing the memories as well as the pain; and about finding a way to somehow move on, even though the loss may never make sense.
"Our family as fellow Christians know that Nick is in a good place and that families are eternal. We will be with Nick again," his brother said.