SPRINGFIELD (WCMH) — More heartbreak as family and friends gather to say good-bye to victims of last Sunday’s mass shooting.
The reality of that shooting is sinking in for several families as funerals were held for six of the nine victims Saturday.
One of those victims, Derrick Fudge, 57, died in the arms of his son. He was remembered at a funeral service at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Springfield.
In addition to friends and family, several government officials from across the state came to mourn and comfort Fudge’s family.
Fudge’s family remembered him as a man who loved to paint houses, go fishing, and cook. His family said they are honored to see all of the people that came out to say their good-byes to Fudge.
The church was full with well-wishers to the man they all knew as a gentle giant.
Among the mourners was Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife Fran.
Fudge was with his son and other family members when he was gunned down last week in Dayton’s Oregon District. He died of gunshot wounds while being held in his son’s arms.
Fudge’s sister, Twyla Southall, lives in Dublin.
“Very emotional and very taxing to see my family collectively go through this,” she said. “But it has also been an encouraging day to see the officials from the governor to the mayors of cities, multiple cities, commissioners come out, pastors, people we didn’t know wrapped around the church building to get in.”
DeWine said it was important that he came to represent the people of Ohio.
“I told them I was going to do everything I could to make it safer for people in Ohio,” he said. “That is my obligation. We have an obligation to do something.”
Southall had a message for everyone who helped lay her brother to rest.
“I want to say to those that came out and prayed for us and sent flowers, spoken words of encouragement, thank you,” she said. “Thank all of you. Thank you guys for giving us the opportunity to share the life of my brother.”
Fudge is survived by one son, one granddaughter, two sisters, and three brothers.