Two more little victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting, James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos, were laid to rest on Dec. 18. So tragic.
As the community of Newtown, CT continues to process the stunning and tragic shooting massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, Dec. 14 that resulted in the deaths of 20 young children and six heroic adults, two more of those young children were laid to rest on Dec. 18. James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos, both six years old, were honored by their families, friends, and their community in funeral services.
Jessica Rekos’ Funeral
People magazine reports that Jessica’s funeral services were held at Saint Rose of Lima Church in Newtown during the 10:00am service on Dec. 18, before she was buried in the church’s cemetery. Her parents, Rich and Krista Rekos, issued a statement praising their daughter as “a creative, beautiful little girl who loved playing with her little brothers, Travis and Shane.”
“Jessica loved everything about horses,” they said. “She devoted her free time to watching horse movies, reading horse books, drawing horses, and writing stories about horses.” The sweet girl was promised a horse when she turned 10. For Christmas this year, she had asked for new cowgirl boots and a hat.
“We cannot imagine our life without her,” her parents added. “We are mourning her loss, sharing our beautiful memories we have of her, and trying to help her brother Travis understand why he can’t play with his best friend.”
James Mattioli’s Ceremony
At little James’ ceremony, held at the same church during a noon service, a sign outside read, “Heaven gained an angel today.” He was buried at the St. John’s Cemetery in nearby Darien, CT. In the young boy’s obituary, his parents, Mark and Cindy Mattioli, said their son was “an energetic, loving friend to all.”
“James was especially thoughtful and considerate, always the first to welcome guests at the backdoor with a hug and his contagious smile,” his parents added. He was described as an “outdoorsy” boy who loved doing yard work with his dad, but equally loved “to cuddle on the couch at the end of the day with his mom, grabbing his pillow and brown fleece blanket.”
James “loved and admired his big sister [Anna] and wanted to do everything that she could do. They were the best of friends.”
We continue to keep the victims lost, their families, and the community of Newtown in our thoughts and prayers as they grieve.
— Billy Nilles
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