ABOUT 400 people packed a church to remember a husband, wife and their youngest child.
A thanksgiving service was held at All Saints’ Church in Oakham yesterday to celebrate the lives of Toby and Samantha Day and their six-year-old daughter Genevieve, known as Genny.
They died in an incident at their home in Melton in December and it is believed Mr Day was responsible for their deaths.
Among those in the church were Mr and Mrs Day’s teenage children Kimberley and Adam, as well as representatives from the police and Catmose College, which Kimberley and Adam attend.
Throughout the service, a slideshow of family photographs played on two large screens at the front of the church.
Opening the service, the Rev Canon Lee Francis-Dehqani said it was an opportunity to remember the “blessed memories” the family had.
He said: “We come here conscious of the shocking loss of lives that happened just two months ago. I have been so impressed by the support and comfort given to the family.”
During the service, the hymns “Keep Me Travelling Along With You” and “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” were both sung.
They had also been sung at the family funeral in Market Overton last month.
The first reading was given by family member Rachel Root, who recited “We Can Shed Tears”.
About 25 children and staff from St Francis Catholic Primary School in Melton Mowbray performed two songs, including Genny’s favourite upbeat song “Shine”. The youngsters, dressed in school uniform, performed actions along to the music.
School headteacher Denise Shipstone said the performance was the children’s way of remembering their friend.
Family friend Darren Smith also paid tribute and said the family had “wonderful memories”.
He described Mr Day, a former police officer in Oakham, as an “exemplary officer” and “an outstanding member of the community”.
He said the last family holiday to Spain held cherished memories for Kimberley, 15, and Adam, 14.
Mr Smith added: “The only fitting tribute is that Toby was an outstanding dad and Sam the perfect mother.
“The legacy they leave behind is two fantastic young people in Kim and Adam, whose strength and courage continue to amaze me.”
The Rev Audrey Atkinson read “The Dragonfly Story”, which tells of a water bug who becomes a dragonfly, which flies into a “wonderful new world”.
Mrs Day worked at the Early Years Nursery at Swallowdale Primary School in Melton and her colleague Becky Kirkpatrick described her as a brilliant organiser, a good listener, loyal and funny.
She revealed that Mrs Day would receive a posthumous degree in early childhood studies in the summer.
She also read a poem that Mrs Day’s colleagues had written, which included the line “We miss you Sam more than you could know”.
Mrs Day’s father John Neal gave the reading “If Tears Could Build A Stairway”.
The poignant service ended with two more hymns including “Christ Be In my Waking”, which the Rev Francis-Dehqani said had brought great comfort to Kimberley and Adam, particularly the lines “Christ be in my gladness for the joy of living... Christ be in my sorrow, in my day of darkness”.
The hymn was also sung at Kimberley and Adam’s confirmation at All Saints’ Church in October.
After the service, a collection was taken in aid of the air ambulance, The Samaritans, All Saints’ Church and St Peter and St Paul Church in Market Overton.
The Mercury has been backing a fund, which was set up by our sister title the Melton Times, to support Kimberley and Adam. The total currently stands at £12,671.