The tiny town of Manchester and friends in Scott County gathered Wednesday to pay final respects to the victims in last week's murders in Manchester, Illinois.
Funeral services began at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Daws Family Funeral Home in Roodhouse for Jo Ann Sinclair, 66; her granddaughter Brittney Luark, 23; James Roy Ralston, 29; and two of their children Nolan Ralston, 5 and Brantley Ralston, 1.
Visitation was held after 1 p.m. Tuesday, with the family meeting friends from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Dozens of people lined the street near the funeral home, many exchanging hugs and kind words with loved ones as the small community of Manchester has been shaken to its core.
"It's just such a shock, I don't know, I think people are probably still stunned and are just so stunned and there's no answers," said Pixie Clanton.
It's been a mere six days since police cars and investigators lined the streets, after five people, three adults and two children, were shot and killed. Tuesday, many of their friends came to remember a family they loved.
"They lived up the street from us, and Nolan and Kassidy attended our church for several months, and they came to our Easter egg hunt," said Larry Balthis.
"I've known the Ralstons for quite some time, I work at a daycare with some of the Ralston children," said Clanton.
Community members say while their town is openly grieving, their presence spoke to the support for the family of the victims.
"It's extremely important, and I've watched the community and others, they really are pouring out to all of the families, to everyone involved and really expressing their love to them," said Balthis.
"We're there for them and we'll do what we can do," said Clanton.
Interment will be in the Pinetree Cemetery near Patterson. Memorials are suggested to the family.
A fund has been set up to help pay for the burial.
Peoples Bank & Trust says a fund has been set up by a friend of Rita Luark, the mother of one of the victims and the grandmother of the two young boys who died, because Luark cannot afford burial costs.
You can mail your donations marked with "Benefit of Rita Luark family" to:
Peoples Bank & Trust
102 S Main Street
White Hall, IL 62092
You can also leave memories and condolences at the funeral home's website at http://www.mackeydaws.com
A community prayer vigil is also scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Winchester's Monument Park, sponsored by the Winchester Ministers' Association. The service will be led by local pastors and musicians, designed to offer prayer support and encouragement to all families and individuals affected by the Manchester tragedy.
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