HOUSTON - Friends and family said goodbye Wednesday to a family who lost their lives in a tragedy that has touched the hearts of many across the nation.
Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Hafer for Stephen and Katie Stay, and their four children, Bryan, Emily, Becca and Zac. Six white caskets spanned the front of the Spring church. There were two smaller caskets for the two youngest victims.
They were all killed in their home one week ago. Cassidy Stay, 15, was the only survivor. She smiled, waved and greeted mourners as she entered the church. She wiped her eyes as she left the church and pallbearers loaded her six family members into hearses waiting outside to leave for the burial in Spring.
"You see how strong she is and confident. That comes from her parents. She was taught well. She had good examples," family friend Crystal Ross said.
First responders from Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office in northwest Harris County were at the funeral just as they were the first at the crime scene one week ago.
"It was an upbeat tone, and very reassuring that their family will be there to support Cassidy in the years to come," said Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman.
After a week of darkness, a friend of mom Katie Stay reminded the crowd of what Katie would want, saying, "It is a good day to have a good day."
"I know when we would talk, they were concerned about each other. They were a good mix. He was very quiet, very peaceful and she was fiery and no body's going to mess with anybody while I'm here. They complimented each other really well," family friend Moriah Davis said.
Now the Stay family compliments the thousands of people from around the world who have shown their support to "Stay Strong." For about 90 minutes Wednesday, all of the focus was on a church in northwest Harris County and the six lives needlessly lost.
"The happiness that this family brought us...that's what's going to get us through the day," said family friend Thomas Mixon.
Friends say their faith means Cassidy and her family will one day be reunited.
In the service, a church leader told Cassidy she is not alone and that she has a family of guardian angels watching over her and a community that will support her.
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