NEW HOLSTEIN, Wis. (WFRV)-The New Holstein police department is mourning the loss of one of their officers.

Officer Macullen Schnell passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer.

“He’s the kind of kid you want your daughter to marry,” says Jeff Hebl who is currently New Holstein’s mayor, but worked with Schnell at the police department before he retired as a police officer.

Schnell passed away over the weekend. He battled cancer since January 2020.

He joined the New Holstein Police Department in 2018 as a part-time officer. Even after his cancer diagnosis he still stayed connected to the department, even participating in New Holstein’s shop with a cop program earlier this month.

“He had all the attributes you want in a young police officer,” says Hebl.

Hebl knew Macullen as a police officer. Mikayla knew Macullen as her younger brother.

“No matter how his day was he wanted to make sure my day was okay,” says Mikayla Alvarez.

She remembers going to Milwaukee Bucks games and Milwaukee Brewers games as a family. She says Macullen was a multi-sport athlete in high school and that sports were a big part of his life. She says her family would try to go to a new state each summer for family vacations.

She also remembers how hard her brother fought his cancer.

“He always said this is just a bump in the road, we’re going to get through it, it’s just another challenge and we’re going to get through it together,” says Alvarez.

Mikayla says she wasn’t able to physically be with Macullen when he passed away, but was able to talk with him over the phone and tell him that she loves him one more time.

Macullen was just 23 years old when he passed away. He lived a short life, but one with lots of impact.

“He taught us to look at the bright side of things no matter what life throws at you,” says Alverez.

“I know he was hoping to come back, the guys (at the police station) wanted him to come back, everybody wanted him back and it was sad news for everybody,” says Hebl.

Being a police officer was Macullen’s dream job and he graduated in 2018 from Lakeshore Technical College with an associate’s degree in criminal justice.

Macullen’s uncle and aunt, Ron Guse and Patti Surita remember that he loved fishing, hunting, being outdoors, and animals including his dog Dusty.

“He was mature beyond his age in being an example of how we could all handle adversity with unbelievable dignity, grace, and strength,” they tell Local Five News.

They say he never complained about anything and was an example of what we should all strive to be.