Strangers help fallen officer’s large family stay together to watch funeral on television

Local News

WESTERVILLE, OH (WCMH) — Not everyone who wanted to be in the church could be for the funerals of Westerville Officers Morelli and Joering, which includes Joering’s large extended family.

With close to 50 family members from all over the country coming in, finding transportation and food for all of them has been a monumental task, but it was accomplished through the love of friends and strangers.

When the York Golf Club heard the family needed a place to watch the funeral, they opened their doors to the group which was hosted by Joering’s eldest daughter Savanah.

She couldn’t do it alone though, her friend Stephanie Shepherd helped line up a food train for Joering’s parents and family members for the next two weeks.

“[Savanah] is phenomenal, she has Eric’s heart and it just is super awesome to be able to do something for her,” said Shepherd.

Shepherd’s fiancé, another friend of Savanah’s, helped get the family from point A to point B by reaching out to Columbus Coach. An employee there is a parent of a young man, Noah Jay. They were able to secure two large busses for Friday at the last minute.

“Last night around 9:00 we actually made it all happen in a split second,” said Jay.

The outpouring of support from these young people and the complete strangers that were their connections to these resources is immeasurable to Savanah and her family.

Karen Savage is a cousin of Officer Joering’s and made the trip from New Hampshire. Her husband is a police officer, as are her uncles, and other family members.

“There is so much love in this family and I couldn’t have imagined going through this without being with our family,” said Savage. “Our family is so grateful to men and women who serve and put their life on the line every day; it was beautiful to see our cousin honored this way today.”

Officer Joering’s parents and his brother were able to make it into the church for the funeral. They were given seats at the back of the church.

When it was over, they made it back to the golf course to watch the post-funeral ceremony surrounded by the loving comfort of their family.

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