HAMBURG, NY - In 2013, a Hamburg family suffered a sudden shock. They lost their guiding star in life.

New York State trooper William Keane died from a sudden heart attack, while representing the force at a truck inspection contest in Utah.

On Saturday, his family met the K-9 dog named after him by the State Police.

Keane had 26 years on the job for the State Police. He was the oldest of 10 children, born and bred from South Buffalo. Keane grew up fast.

"Billy's dad passed away when he was 18, so he took on the father role," said Sharon Keane, William's wife.

"He started out being a babysitter for all of us and as we grew up one of the guys I always went to for advice," said Daniel Keane, William's brother.

William loved being out on the water and in the 70's served four years as a Navy weatherman.

REPORTER: Did he always want to be a trooper?

"No, I don't think so, it just happened," Daniel Keane said.

William started out at the Fredonia State Police barracks. And over the years, he became a State Police commercial truck inspector, making sure those big rigs on the road were safe. And, he was competitive. In 2013, he went to Salt Lake City to participate in a truck inspection contest.

"They would have a truck and have a competition for the inspectors to spot out what was wrong with the truck," Daniel Keane said.

Keane died from a sudden heart attack. He was 56 years old.

"I do miss his laugh, he had the best laugh in the world, and he really could entertain a crowd with his jokes and his sense of humor," said Allison Keane, William's daughter.

Trooper Keane's legacy lives on -- in K9 Keane. He takes down bad guys upstate in the Plattsburg area.

"Every K-9 in the State of New York is named after a fallen trooper, and so William Keane is who I picked to name him after," Trooper Matt Carniglia said. "Billy Keane was the guy I never knew personally but he was a guy with over 25 years on the job and I talked to some guys here from troop a and they had some great things to say out him."

Saturday was the first time, K-9 Keane and Trooper Keane's family met.

"My dad was a dog lover too, so it's kind of cool that he did get remembered in a way not just on a plaque but in a living being of the dog," said Kelsey Keane, William's daughter.

Trooper Keane responded to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. His wife says he was just one of those go-to guys.