They were people whose love was interrupted by hate and whose lives were taken by a thief in the night. The words echoed through Faith Family Church in Chandler at a memorial service Thursday, where the Rev. Andy White described a family whose violent deaths Feb. 21 made national headlines.
The framed happy faces of Tammy Lovell, 32, Cassandra, 15, and Jacob, 10, sat staring into a sea of loved ones, who looked back at the pictures with expressions of pain.
Two modest floral arrangements of white and yellow lilies brightened up a long table decorated with photographs.
The family of Steven Terrence Duffy II, 30, and Shane Donovan Duffy, 18, who were shot to death alongside the Lovells in their home, also attended the funeral.
“There will be a time for justice,” White said. “This morning and today, it’s a time for love.”
Family members stood up, and with trembling voices and tear-stained cheeks, shared tiny glimpses into the personalities of the ones they lost.
Tammy Lovell, known as Tam, was the “boss and queen of her own world,” White said.
She was a “workaholic” and was “the loudest person you ever met in your life,” said her sister Luhanna Chesley.
She loved babies and despite some struggles, had in the past year found some peace.
Cassandra, who was always called Cassie, was a “carefree artist” who colored her hair purple, pink and blue, White said.
She wrote poetry, laughed at her own jokes and tended to her brother Jacob.
Her other love was Shane Duffy.
“To the day I die, even after death, I know I will love you forever,” said a cousin, quoting a poem Cassie dedicated to Shane.
Pictures of Jacob spoke for themselves. He was sometimes goofy, rarely as smiley as his sister, but affectionate.
“Jacob never let go,” Chesley said. “He hugged me and kissed me and said I love you.”
He was the center of his mother’s world, and loved video games, his bicycle and climbing.
The services closed with a rendition of Tammy’s favorite song, “Tomorrow,” from the movie “Annie.”
Guests filed out of the church quietly, pausing to look at some photos on display — Jacob smiling with an orange in his mouth, Cassie swinging from a tree, Jacob sticking his tongue out and a beaming Tammy and Steve.
“My brother smiled so much in the pictures with Cassie,” said Stephanie Fulcher, sister of the Duffys.
“It gives you a little comfort knowing they were happy when we lost them,” she said.
Want to help?
The Duffy family is asking for the public’s help with expenses. Steven and Shane Duffy’s bodies have not been buried or cremated and no funeral has been held because of a lack of funding. Another carwash will be today, Saturday and Sunday in the Denny’s parking lot near Country Club Drive and Southern Avenue.
Donations to the family can be made to the Duffy Memorial Fund at any Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. Donations to the Lovell family can be made to the Tammy Lovell Memorial Fund at Arizona Federal Credit Union account No. 625143.