Krystle Campbell funeral held week after Boston Marathon bombings
Medford, Mass. -- Hundreds of mourners packed a church Monday for the funeral of Boston Marathon bombing victim Krystle Campbell, a crowd so large many more were turned away from the service at St. Joseph Church.
Still, they waited on the sidewalk in the cold and whipping wind through the hourlong service honoring Campbell, 29, of Medford -- the first funeral for a victim of the bombings one week ago. The service, which was closed to the media, began with "Amazing Grace" and closed with the "Celtic Song of Farewell" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," according to a program of the service.
Twenty three police officers on motorcycles led the procession to the church along a two-lane road in this suburb just north of Boston. Hundreds of Teamsters -- some holding American flags -- also lined the street in an effort to avert a protest by a fringe group that never happened.
Among the hundreds who were turned away from the service was Gail Robinson, whose daughter Stacey Gelinas was close friends with Campbell since middle school. Robinson said she was like a second mother to Campbell -- a fixture at her house when the girls were growing up.
"I'll always remember her smile, and her beautiful blue eyes," said Robinson, 62, of Malden, Mass. Campbell, she said, was "bouncy, bubbly, loud, funny. All she did was smile and laugh."
Campbell played softball with her daughter when they were growing up and when Robinson saw her at a wedding a couple of years ago after not seeing her in a while, she "ran down the hill and gave me a big hug."
Campbell graduated from Medford High School in 2001 and attended the University of Massachusetts Boston, according to an obituary on the Dello Russo Funeral Home website. She was a manager at a local steak house.
"Krystle was remembered as a great leader and co-worker who was able to bring out the best in people," the obituary said.
Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley delivered remarks at the funeral and afterward embraced Campbell's mother, Patricia Campbell, outside the church before the family was led away to a waiting car. Campbell is also survived by her father, William Campbell, and brother, Billy Campbell.
Mark Esposito, a pipe fitter, took the day off work to stand guard outside the funeral. The Westboro Baptist Church, which protests soldiers' funerals and other high-profile events to gain attention for its fringe group, had said on social media it planned to picket the service. That prompted the president of Teamsters Local 25 in Boston to call for union members to come out in force to shield the family. The protesters didn't appear.
"This is our city," said Esposito, 39, of Medford, who held a giant American flag. "We don't want hatred to come to our city. We want to show the family our support."