Comfort and Hope Offered at Funeral for Four Children Killed in Daycare Fire
Family, friends and the community came together to remember four of the children killed in an Erie daycare fire during a viewing and funeral service at the Bayfront Convention Center Saturday.
La’Myhia Jones, 8; Luther Jones Jr., 6; Ava Jones, 4; and Jaydan Augustyniak, 9 months, were honored by hundreds of people. Parents Luther Jones and Shavona Overton lost the four children in last Sunday's tragic fire at Harris Family Daycare in Erie.
In his eulogy, the Reverent Lamont Higginbottom used the suffering of Job, and his example of worship in the face of the "Lord giving and the Lord taking away, as a guide for grief. "Grief is a process," Higginbottom said to the families, "not a permanent address."
During the service, City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember, Erie Fire Chief Guy Santone, the principal of McKinley School and two great aunts of the children spoke about the young lives cut short by the tragic fire.
Schember called all four children "the future of Erie" as he questioned why they were taken from us. As a parent himself, Schember said he could not imagine anything harder than losing a child.
The first responders who did everything they could to save the lives of the children the night of the fire were also honored a standing ovation during the service.
Chief Santone not only expressed condolences and prayers on behalf of the firefighters but also the City of Erie and country.
McKinley School principal Dana Suppa recalled La’Myhia and Luther coming to school always happy and smiling.
Jennifer Overton, the great aunt of the children, reminded family and friends to rejoice in their beautiful memories of the four children.
"So, rejoice in all your beautiful memories and remember we are all here on borrowed time because God makes promises and he keeps them," said Overton. "He said, in promise, he said and his promise was we'll see our loved ones again so La'Myhia, Luther Jr., Ava, Jayden, and as for me, Ja'riem, Nyion and many other we have lost in this family alone that gone to glory, that left to go glory, we will seem them all again. That was the promise from God. And I stand on his word. I love you my dear sister, I love you my dear niece, and you Luther as well. With God's grace and mercy, we'll get through it."
Firefighters helped carry the caskets of the children to Erie Cemetery for burial.
Calling hours for the fifth child killed in the fire, Dalvin Pacley, are scheduled Monday afternoon and evening at Burton Funeral Home on West 10th Street. He will be laid to rest after a funeral service Tuesday at Second Baptist Church.
Watch the entire funeral service
COMPLETE COVERAGE: Daycare Fire Tragedy