DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An Air Force veteran was laid to rest Wednesday at DFW National Cemetery, with one long-lost family member in attendance.

Veterans, police officers, former colleagues from the University of North Texas and friends gathered shoulder to shoulder to say farewell to Margaret King.

“We are her family now, after death. She’s very much loved, and her service is very much honored,” said Rick Crabb, a ride captain for the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders.

Crabb presented a flag and certificate to a UNT staff member seated next to King’s niece, Cherrie Robinson.

“I never expected this many people. I’m just very grateful,” said Robinson.

King died last September of natural causes. The university held off burying her, as they worked to track down her family.

margaret king Niece Shows Up For Funeral Of Veteran Who Died At UNT

Margaret Rosa King (University of North Texas)

Robinson said she flew in from Atlanta after she heard about her aunt’s death through Facebook on Tuesday.

“It was a race to get here – to buy plane tickets to try to get here in time. It was also a shock to get over her death,” said Robinson.

screen shot 2018 05 16 at 4 08 36 pm Niece Shows Up For Funeral Of Veteran Who Died At UNT

Cherrie Robinson – Margaret King’s neice (CBS11)

Robinson said her family knew King was studying somewhere. But it was hard to reconnect after they lost contact.

“She started out in the military, liked to travel. She had a full life on her own. That’s just how she was,” said Robinson.

Those who knew her said King was very well-educated and received numerous degrees.

Robinson said she always hoped she’d find her aunt.

“I never wanted to find her in death, but I’m glad at least I can see how much of an impact she made – and how many people cared,” said Robinson.

Robinson said her mother, Margaret King’s younger sister, will be flying in from California. The family plans to keep the flag and certificate that were presented during the funeral.

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