Mourners are paying their respects to former Kitchener Mayor Dom Cardillo today.

The funeral honouring the second-longest serving mayor of Kitchener got underway  at St. Anthony Daniel Roman Catholic Church at 29 Midland Dr. in Kitchener just after 11:00 a.m.

Son Patrick Cardillo said his father was "bigger than life."

"He always had a smile on his face, that's what gets you through on a day to day basis," Patrick Cardillo said in an interview on The Morning Edition.

"Approachable," said was the word Cardillo used to sum up his father.

"It didn't matter who you were, what you were doing, where you came from, you could talk to him. That's probably his legacy. He was a man that would walk everywhere, especially downtown, up and down King St. greeting people and saying hi."

Cardillo died Sunday morning at 82 years old. He was first elected to Kitchener city council in 1963,  and served there for 19 years before being elected as mayor in 1982. Cardillo  was mayor for 12 years.