Mourners remember Peter Frates, man who popularized the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Peter Frates's funeral was held in St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Boston.

(CNN)Family, friends and community members paid tribute Friday to the life of Pete Frates, who used his ALS diagnosis to raise millions of dollars for supporting ALS research and patient care.

About 1,500 people packed the pews, aisles and overflow room of St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish, according to an estimate from Boston College police. The church is next to Boston College, where Frates played baseball as a student.
Frates, 34, died on December 9 at his home in Massachusetts after a "heroic battle with ALS," his family said in a statement.
After being diagnosed with ALS in 2012, Frates dedicated his life to raising awareness for the disease. He became widely known for popularizing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral video sensation that raised more than $115 million for ALS research.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It became known as Lou Gehrig's disease after the star baseball player was diagnosed in 1939.
The disease does not have a cure or an effective treatment to halt or reverse its progression. Most people with ALS die from respiratory failure, usually within three to five years of displaying symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health.

A moving tribute from his alma mater

The funeral service included a traditional Catholic mass, which Frates attended often throughout his life.
Frates planned the details of the service before his death, so the songs and readings were ones he had chosen himself, his father said during the service.
As the funeral procession made its way to the church, it passed Frates' high school alma mater, St. John's Prep, a Catholic boy's school.
The boys of St. John's Prep lined the street as the procession passed and held hands, creating a chain of students along the road.