12/01/2012 03:47 EST | Updated 01/31/2013 05:12 EST

Canada's 'toughest cop' remembered for his sweet side

The man dubbed Canada's "toughest cop" was remembered Saturday by friends and family in Mascouche, Que.

Albert Lisacek died of cancer at the age of 79 on Nov. 20.

Known for his bold attitude and for carrying a Model 1927 semi-automatic gun, Lisacek came toe-to-toe with some of Montreal's most notorious criminals in the 1970s.

A pamphlet handed out for the funeral service described the rarely-seen sentimental side of Lisacek. In his private life, he was a devoted religious man, a lover of nature and animals and a fan of Western and romantic adventure novels.

But most of the public knew Lisacek for his 25 years as a police officer who faced down "the most dangerous terrorists and criminals of the 1960s and 70s," according to the pamphlet.

Friends and family shared stories about Lisacek's life and his remarkable sense of humour.

Warren Perley, a journalist who covered Lisacek's exploits for decades, was at the funeral. He said the former Sûreté du Québec sergeant would play jokes on him up until his final days in hospital.

Perley recalled his first encounter with the Lisacek, when he was working for The Canadian Press.

It was in 1972, after Lisacek responded to a robbery in Verdun and ended up shooting one of the three thieves.

Perley said that his editor asked him to phone Lisacek's wife to get her reaction to the shooting.

He recalls that when he called Lisacek's wife and explained the scenario, her response came as a surprise.

"You tell that bastard to shoot the other two [robbers] or he won't get any supper tonight," she said, according to Perley.

That phone conversation gave the journalist what he called his first insight into the officer's world of "bullets, beatings and bad-guys."

Lisacek was retired from the police force for 30 years.

At the funeral, Lisacek's second wife, Jacqueline Richer, described him as person with a strong sense of justice, but also a "sweet" man, who always wanted to help others.