INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Saturday brought the second of two days worth of funerals for a local family after nine members were killed in the Branson duck boat tragedy last week.
Hundreds came to Eastern Star Church to remember 70-year-old Horace, his 69-year-old wife, Belinda "Toni," 76-year-old Irvin, 45-year-old Angela and her 2-year-old son, Maxwell. Friday would have been Maxwell’s third birthday.
Four other Colemans – Glenn and his three children, Reese, Evan and Arya – were laid to rest Friday. Together, the nine make up three branches of the Coleman family.
Glenn’s wife Tia and her 13-year-old nephew were the only family members on the trip who survived the incident that killed 17 people total.
"Family, be encouraged," Pastor A. Thomas Hill of The Streams said at the service. "We may mourn in the night, but Jesus is going to speak in the morning….We have the hope that after this life is over, it’s not the end but it’s the beginning of a new and everlasting life."
Gov. Eric Holcomb was in attendance for Friday’s service but he did not speak. He returned for Saturday’s service, and this time he was asked to speak and he shared some words from his own faith.
"I also know that even my eyes have seen the glory," he said. "That joy [the Colemans] gave on this Earth, their laughter and song and dance and wisdom and faith and love – that’s why I know where they are; there is no place better than Heaven….I know that for those who walk in the path of the Lord, goodbyes are never forever."
"We didn’t create ourselves, so we cannot raise ourselves," Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said. "But in God, through God, with God, all things are possible. Yesterday, today, tomorrow and for all eternity, in God, all things are possible."
Pastor Jeffrey Johnson of Eastern Star Church where the service was held also offered some words of comfort. He said he’d been asked by many people both in this situation and in other times of tragedy where God was when innocent people died. He told the family, "He was in the same place he was when His son died. He was in control, and He is still in control now."