MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota trooper is being laid to rest after more than 30 years in law enforcement.

“He was just the best at his job and he was always striving to be better, better, better,” Carol Frisby, Rob Frisby’s mother, said.

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Rob Frisby lost his battle to cancer at 51 years old. His work included heading the Minnesota State Patrol’s K-9 unit.

As WCCO’s Kate Raddatz shares, his impact went beyond state lines.

Ever since Rob Frisby was a child, he felt a calling to be in law enforcement.

“There’s a Rochester police man named Lucky who used to stop in the neighborhood in Rochester where he lived and the kids just flocked to him,” said Bob Frisby, Rob’s father.

Lucky’s charm stuck. Rob would go on to be a part-time deputy in Olmsted County, serve in the Army and spent 27 years as a State Patrol trooper.

“He never would brag about anything he accomplished, never,” said Carol Frisby.

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”We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. Rob just I think gave that message before he left: Enjoy today and treat people with respect,” Chad Mills, a K-9 coordinator with the Minnesota State Patrol, said.

Chad Mills worked with Frisby, who also led the K-9 unit for three years. Frisby was known for being a dog-lover, and he was particularly close to his partner, Nicki.

“She was kind of half human, they just had a connection,” Mills said.

Mills has gotten calls from law enforcement out of state, sending condolences as Rob’s reach through work took him far. But most of all, he was known as a family man.

“He always was striving to be better. That’s how he was as a father, a husband and definitely as a son,” Carol Frisby said.

And after a year-and-a-half long battle with cancer, his family says they take comfort in knowing that his work ethic, kindness and humor will make an impact long after he’s gone.

“We always knew he was a piece of gold,” Carol said.

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Frisby leaves behind a wife and daughter. His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Andover.

Kate Raddatz