MEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — The church was already packed, so Saint Joseph School sixth-grader Michael Sanchez stood outside Krystle Campbell’s funeral with his aunt and hundreds of others yesterday to honor the Boston Marathon bombing victim.
The 11-year-old boy remembered Campbell from when she was a day-care worker who walked him to his school when he was in kindergarten.
“She was never late,” he said. “She was always on time and very helpful ... She was very loved.”
Saint Joseph School was closed for the day, as motorcycle police officers filled the street and white-gloved firefighters lined the sidewalk leading to a door of the nearby red-brick church.
Pallbearers brought Campbell’s dark, shiny casket into Saint Joseph Church shortly after 11 a.m., the clang of the church’s bell breaking the quiet as the crowd looked on in silence.
Sanchez watched with his aunt, Rosanne Sanchez, 30, who took a few pictures with her phone before the Medford resident decided to head home with him and her two sons, ages 2 and 3 months. The sixth-grader said he was hoping to return later with his mom, to look at photos of Campbell he heard might be set up as a memorial.
“It should not have happened,” Michael Sanchez said. “She was too good a person for it to have happened.”
A short drive away, a three-story high American flag hung off the front of Medford City Hall. Red roses and signs in the victim’s memory hung from traffic posts in Medford Square, including one that said the late 29-year-old woman was “flying with angels.”
A slew of union workers from Teamsters Local 25 filled the sidewalk across from the church, as did members of a motorcycle club and others who wanted to make sure protesters who threatened to picket the church wouldn’t disturb Campbell’s family.
They chased off one man who held up a sign, said Mike Lynch, a 49-year-old former Boston pub owner who drove to the church from his New Hampshire home to support a family he’d never met.
“Solidarity,” he said. “... I came in peace but to tell you the truth, I came with $500 bail money just in case.”
Inside the church, St. Joseph’s pastor the Rev. Chip Hines spoke for the victim’s family, who were said to be too distraught to address other mourners. Medford resident Marishi Charles recalled later how Hines spoke of Campbell as someone who was never selfish and who loved to smile and dance.
“She was always there for people. As long as Krystle was around, you were OK. These were the words her family wanted you to remember,” the 30-year-old said.
Boston’s Roman Catholic Cardinal Sean O’Malley was part of the service and Irish tenor Ronan Tynan sang “Ave Maria.”
Gov. Deval Patrick also was among those who attended a tribute that came a week after Campbell’s death near the marathon’s finish line.
The restaurant manager and Medford native had been watching the Patriots’ Day athletic spectacle with a girlfriend, and the two had been hoping to capture a photo of the other woman’s boyfriend as he finished the race.