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Colo. victims mourned at funerals in 3 states
Mourners at Ghawi’s funeral also touched briefly on the massacre.
“If this coward could have done this with this much hate, imagine what we can do with this much love,” her brother, Jordan Ghawi, said at the Community Bible Church in San Antonio.
But most of the service focused on the life and energy of the aspiring 24-year-old sports journalist.
“What we will not do today is focus on how she left us,” said Peter Burns, a friend from Colorado, reading a statement from Ghawi’s mother, Sandy. “Jess was a force to be reckoned with. She was a jolt of lightning. A whirlwind. A Labrador puppy running clumsily with innocent joy.”
Burns talked of the funny way Ghawi sneezed, her near-addiction to Nutella chocolate, how she was sloppy and always lovable.
Ghawi’s boyfriend, Jay Meloff, note that others described her as “a tough, redheaded spitfire,” and she was, but that he also saw “a beautiful, warm-hearted and passionate woman with a capacity for love. … She was as mushy as they come.”
He said they were looking forward to building a future together and he also encouraged others to do as she did and “live each day fully.”
“She drank in life,” he said.
Ghawi was a pretty, blue-eyed redhead who moved to Colorado about a year ago. She had survived a June 2 shooting at a Toronto mall that left two dead and several wounded. She blogged about the experience, writing that it reminded her “how fragile life was.”
“I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath,” Ghawi wrote.
Following the funeral for Childress, 29, about 200 people attended a private burial service at Fort Logan National Cemetery southwest of Denver, Veterans Affairs spokesman Paul Sherbo said.
James Holmes, a 24-year-old former doctoral student studying neuroscience, is accused of opening fire on the theater, killing McQuinn, Ghawi, Childress and nine others, and wounding 58. He is due to be formally charged Monday in Colorado.
• Associated Press writers Linda Stewart Ball in Dallas and Thomas Peipert in Denver contributed to this report.
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