- Associated Press - Monday, July 11, 2011

BROWNWOOD, TEXAS (AP) - Hundreds of friends, family and well-wishers have gathered in Brownwood, Texas, for the funeral of 39-year-old Shannon Stone, who fell to his death trying to catch a souvenir baseball at a Texas Rangers game.

More than three dozen Patriot Guard Riders stood quietly across from the First United Methodist Church, holding American flags while the private memorial got under way Monday.

The program called for 10 fellow firefighters to carry Stone’s casket to a lone fire engine parked in front of the church. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel, black tape covering their badges, were expected to join the procession to a cemetery.

Stone took his 6-year-old son, Cooper, to a Rangers game in Arlington on Thursday night. They stopped to buy the boy a glove, and sat in left field. Cooper’s favorite player, Josh Hamilton, tossed a foul ball into the stands but Stone fell about 20 feet onto concrete as he caught the ball. He died a short time later.

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