MOUNT HOPE - Family and friends bid a final salute this morning to beloved former Mount Hope Town Supervisor William Novak Jr.

Mourners gathered in Middletown today for a wake service at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

The disabled Vietnam veteran, died last week after officials say he was unable to escape from a fire inside his Mount Hope home. Novak, 69, served as Mount Hope town supervisor for two decades, but lost his re-election bid last year.

Mourners who spoke to News 12 say he'll forever be remembered for all he did for his town. "Lovely man. Did anything for his community. Anything. Mostly for the Mount Hope fire department. He was really into that. Beautiful, beautiful man," says Elizabeth Koos.

Novak leaves behind two adult children.

He's to be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.