Funeral held for victim of Nashville school shooting

The tragic shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, which claimed the lives of six innocent people, including three children, has brought the community together in mourning. Family and friends of nine-year-old Evelyn Dieckhaus, the first victim to be laid to rest, gathered at the Woodmont Christian Church on Friday to pay their respects to the beloved little girl. As the church bells tolled, mourners dressed in pink and green attire, in tribute to Evelyn’s love of color, filled the pews of the sanctuary.

During the emotional service, the church’s senior minister, the Rev. Clay Stauffer, described Evelyn as a “shining light” and spoke of her radiant nature, which brought joy to everyone she met. He urged the community to honor her memory by continuing to spread her light in a world that can be filled with darkness and pain. Stauffer also offered words of comfort to Evelyn’s family, who he described as incredible people, assuring them that they would not be going through this ordeal alone.

Evelyn was one of three children killed in the attack, along with Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney. The three adults who lost their lives were Katherine Koonce, the 60-year-old head of the school, Mike Hill, a 61-year-old custodian, and Cynthia Peak, a 61-year-old substitute teacher. The young girl was remembered as a constant beacon of joy who loved art, music, and animals. Her obituary highlighted her fondness for crafting, drawing, singing along to Taylor Swift and “Hamilton” tunes, and spending time with her two beloved dogs, Mable and Birdie, and her big sister Eleanor.

The Woodmont Christian Church is situated just across the street from the Woodmont Baptist Church, which served as the reunification point for surviving children and their parents on the day of the shooting. Although the church was closed to the media, dozens of people attended the service to say goodbye to Evelyn, whose loss has shaken the community to its core. As the redbud trees bloomed with pinkish-purple flowers, and mourners donned pastel colors, the funeral service looked more like an Easter celebration than a goodbye to a young life lost so suddenly.

Despite the tragedy, the community has come together to support one another during this difficult time. Stauffer and his team have been working tirelessly to offer comfort and assistance to those who are grieving. They remain committed to supporting Evelyn’s family and urged the community to continue to do the same. As the sound of the church bells faded into the distance, one thing remained clear; the memory of Evelyn Dieckhaus will continue to shine bright in the hearts of all those who knew her.

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