Tears were shed and stories shared as hundreds gathered at a Kansas City church to remember the loving and giving life of Terri LaManno.
"My sister's life was one that we should all admire. Living a life of Christian love, devoted to her husband, family and friends and to her patients," her brother, Tom Hastings, said in prepared remarks. "We believe that had she lived, she would have forgiven this man. No question, she would have forgiven him. But for now, we remember Terri for her goodness."
LaManno was gunned down as she and her sisters went to visit their mother at Village Shalom. Glenn Frazier Cross Jr., 73, is accused of going to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and the assisted living center with the purpose of killing Jews.
Instead, Cross allegedly killed LaManno, who was a Catholic, and 69-year-old William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, Methodists who happened to go to the JCC for Reat to perform in a singing competition.
The funeral was held at St. Peter's Catholic Church. Such a large crowd attended that an overflow room was set up.
Her son offered personal memories. Each of her three children read a scripture from the Bible with the focus on love, forgiveness and understanding.
LaManno's brother shared stories of his sister's uplifting spirit and how modest she was when she saved a little girl's life by performing CPR.
"Terri brushed this off, saying that she just 'happened to be in the right place at the right time.' On the past Palm Sunday, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Hastings said. "Terri's professional life was caring for the visually impaired, and she more than anyone else understood that visual impairment doesn't mean that person is less of a human being. Yet her life was ended by a man who was blind in a different way, blinded by prejudice. It is hard to understand how a person whose whole life consisted of loving could die as a result of such blindness."
Still the focus was on LaManno and moving forward.
"You know when this happens it is so easy to lash out in anger, to want vengeance, to lash out at those who would follow the hideous trail or path that this gentleman did but when the family reflected and prayed about this they knew that Terri would say, 'No, the better way is to love and hope,'" Brian Fowler, spokesman for the family, said.
The family thanked everyone for their love and support and especially their prayers during this difficult time.
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