Collier deputy killed in crash honored at memorial service

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EAST NAPLES, Fla.- Family and friends gathered Friday to remember a Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputy killed in a crash in May.

Cpl. Mark Lucente, 48, was on his way to work when he was involved in the multi-vehicle crash along Interstate 75, near the Daniels Parkway exit in Lee County.

“You left this world in a better place than when you found it and for that you have to be very proud,” Lucente’s sister said during a memorial service at New Hope Ministries Friday morning.

Lucente was an Army veteran who started working at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office in 1999.

“He served our country in the United States Army. He served his faith though missionary work throughout the world and he served the residents of Collier County for 18 years,” said Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk.

Years later, Lucente was assigned to the Naples jail where he worked daily with the ministries.

“In my prayers, I’ve often thought maybe the lord’s blessed me with a guardian angel because that’s the way the man lived his life, as an example of Jesus Christ and without a doubt I know he’s in heaven,” said Dennis Broyles, Lucente’s friend.

Lucente often put his life in danger by traveling to other countries as a missionary.

“Honestly he never knew whether he was going to come back or not. He put his life in God’s hands and from some of the stories he told us that there were miracles that happened where God saved him from being killed there,” Broyles said. “God brought him home every single time… and he died here at home.”

Lucente was laid to rest in Dayton, Ohio last week.

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