Saturday, October 5, 2013

Family and Friends Remember Three That Perished in Fire

By Christina Georgiou

The hundreds of people who attended a memorial service for James
Strickland, Joy Lozier, and Makai Peters, all of who died as a result of an
apartment fire this past Monday, stream from Green Pastures Community
Church after the service Friday evening.
More than 500 people flocked to Green Pastures Community Church Friday evening for a memorial service honoring James Strickland, 25, Joy Lozier, 24, and Lozier's four-year-old son Makai Peters, who were killed as a result of the apartment fire that occurred just blocks away this past Monday.

A number of mourners were wearing t-shirts bearing the images of the three with the words "In Loving Memory" emblazoned on them, and many guests paused when entering the church to view a number of photo collages of Strickland, and Lozier with her son Makai, with some visibly in tears.
Click on any image for a better view

After a brief reading of scripture and the singing of "Amazing Grace", several of those closest to the three spoke to the crowd about the lives of those who were lost.

"He'd give you the shirt off his back," Strickland's brother Corey said.

"I love you," he added, obviously to grieved to say more.

Another of Strickland's brothers echoed the sentiment.

"My brother would have given you anything," he said, noting that Strickland tried to take care of those he loved. "He gave his life for another life."

Strickland's brothers all noted his generous nature.

He added, "We all got to take care of ourselves and each other, and that's all I have to say. I love you, James."

"He would have given anything for anybody," said a third brother. "He loved much. He was so kind. I loved my brother...Life is so short...he lived every day to the fullest."

Turning to the loss of Lozier, he said, "She tried to save her child from the fire too. She was close to our family...she helped them a lot.

"Life is too short for all the problems. We've got to help one another," he concluded. "I'm trying to stay strong for my family."

Jason Soto, who lived next door to Lozier and helped her surviving son to safety, said he only knew her and her children as neighbors, but in the past few days, he's gotten to know those close to her and considers them family.

"Whenever I saw Joy, she always had a smile on her face," he said. "You could just see that there was love in that house."

"James may not have had very long, but he's with his son now," Soto said, referring to Strickland's son Elijah. "Joy, she's with her lover, and her son. And, on the day we're all called home, we'll see them again, and they'll be waiting for us."

At the conclusion of the service, the director of Wilson Borough Childcare Center, Cynthia McCrae, announced the child care center had awarded a full scholarship to Gregory Jackson, Lozier's surviving son for day care, that will extend as before- and after-school care through his elementary school years.

The gift was presented in honor of Makai, McCrae said.

"We all loved Makai so very much. Joy and Makai will truly be missed by us all," she said. "We know this will not take away the pain...but we hope this will help in some small way."

The announcement was met with applause.

Before calling for the end of the memorial, Green Pastures Senior Pastor Don Griffin told guests to hold onto their faith, despite their pain and loss.

"From the moment we heard of the deaths of James and Joy and Makai, our hearts began to ache, and truthfully, they have not stopped aching yet," said Griffin. "The world is not the way it was intended to be."

No comments:

Post a Comment