INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana family that lost nine relatives in the sinking of a duck boat on a Missouri lake was held up as an inspiration Saturday as hundreds of people gathered in their memory.
Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett were among those at Eastern Star Church for the funeral of Horace Coleman, 70; his wife, Belinda Coleman, 69; Ervin Coleman, 76; Angela Coleman, 45; and her 2-year-old son, Maxwell. It came a day after the services for Glenn Coleman, 40, and his three children: 9-year-old Reece, 7-year-old Evan and 1-year-old Arya.
The governor attended both ceremonies, and assured their survivors that they are not alone.
“The Coleman family continues to just get bigger, as in 6.6 million Hoosiers bigger, as in millions of more Americans bigger. The Coleman family story of faith and love in action has gone global,” Holcomb said.
Tia Coleman — Glenn Coleman’s wife and mother of their children — and her 13-year-old nephew were the only two survivors among 11 Coleman family members who boarded the boat before it sank in a sudden storm on July 19 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, killing 17 people .
At Saturday’s funeral, five caskets were lined up at the front of the church, flowers atop four of them and a U.S. flag on the other.
Pastor A. Thomas Hill said the family will be sustained by its faith.
“How can they deal with such a horrific, traumatic crisis? This family, they got a Jesus connection. It’s not the end; rather it’s the beginning of a new life. That’s the hope of this family. Let God be their comfort today,” Hill told the congregation.