A group of 50 mourners chanted “he is risen indeed, alleluia” as they said goodbye to East Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Anthony “Buddy” Amoroso at a graveside service Friday.

Amoroso died June 30 while bicycling with a friend along Louisiana 66 in West Feliciana Parish. Police say a Lafayette man driving an SUV struck and killed Amoroso and injured the other man as the pair rode along the Tunica Trace Byway northwest of St. Francisville.

As a white hearse carrying Amoroso’s casket drove toward his burial plot at Resthaven Gardens of Memory, silver wind chimes dangling from a nearby tree clanged in the light breeze. More than a dozen sprays of flowers — including one of white carnations shaped like Louisiana with a single red carnation over Baton Rouge — caught the sunlight near the service.

The Rev. Galen Sorey of Christ Presbyterian Church described Amoroso’s death as a triumph, saying death does not have the final word and that Amoroso is now nestled in the hands of Jesus. He said believing in the resurrection is the only comfort in losing Amoroso. He beckoned the small crowd to respond when he yelled, “Alleluia, Christ is risen.”

“Buddy was a phenomenal public servant,” Sorey said. “But above all else, he was a servant of God ... when Buddy drew his last breath out there on Highway 66, immediately, he was in the presence of the Lord.”

Amoroso was 61, a second-term council member representing southeast Baton Rouge and the owner of Prime Properties. He was known for his deep patriotism, support for law enforcement and military and his openness about dyslexia and encouraging those with the disability.

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Those who came to pay respects to Amoroso’s family in the wake of his death represented all segments of the community. Some knew him as their councilman, others as their boss at Prime Properties, some as a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts and others as an American Italian Association supporter. More than 1,000 visitors had greeted Amoroso's family Thursday evening and Friday morning before those closest to him laid him to rest Friday afternoon.

A photo slideshow showed highlights from Amoroso’s life and Metro Council achievements – introducing people at council meetings, shoveling dirt at groundbreakings, posing with the Mike the Tiger mascot at LSU games and, of course, riding his bike.

Some at the visitation said they hoped Amoroso’s wife, Denise, will fill his seat on the Metro Council. Council members will appoint an interim for Amoroso’s seat by the end of the month and voters will elect the replacement for the rest of Amoroso’s term in March of next year.

“Denise should take that seat,” said former Councilman John Delgado, who attended the Thursday visitation. “I hope she seeks it and carries on his legacy. He would not want someone with political ambitions taking it. She is the only person he would want to carry on that legacy.”

While more than a dozen public officials attended Amoroso’s wake, his graveside service Friday was mostly attended by family and close friends. A green canopy  covered his family members from the blazing afternoon sun while pallbearers placed their yellow boutonnieres atop Amoroso’s brown casket.

Sorey embraced each family member and told them that he knew of their belief in the resurrection. And he read aloud Psalm 130, emphasizing the line, “for with the Lord, there is steadfast love.”

Amoroso's family held a private, invitation-only funeral service Friday evening at Christ Presbyterian Church.

Follow Andrea Gallo on Twitter, @aegallo.​