Pallbearers carry an urn after the funeral for Zackariah Rathwell (photo inset). He was one of the five young adults stabbed to death last week in northwest Calgary. Canadian Press/Facebook
Mourners gathered in Calgary today to pay tribute to Zackariah Rathwell, who was killed last week at a party celebrating the end of university classes.
Hundreds gathered to remember the popular 21-year-old student and lead singer for the local band Zackariah and the Prophets.
His younger brother, Mason, spoke to the crowd gathered in northeast Calgary.
“My brother ripped on me a lot, was so proud of me, and I'm going to make him proud every day for the rest of my life," he said.
"My brother showed me over the years the most important thing — that no matter how much I wanted to be him, I can't. I am me. I could never be Zack, because I was never Zack.
"I am Mason, a younger brother who could have been a lot better, yet still managed to make my brother proud on a daily basis. Zack is gone, but he's never forgotten, and I know that because his pride will live on in me forever. I love you Zack."
'Although we can't comprehend, we care'
Pastor Warren Wiebe presided over the funeral service held at the Centre Street Church.
"Although we can't comprehend, we care," he said. "Behind you is an army of people — and the city."
Rathwell's mother, Ronda-Lee, spoke of her pain as she said her last goodbye.
"This past week has been the hardest of my life, but hanging out with [his] friends has made it so much easier. He surrounded himself with amazing people," she said.
"As long as I'm living, my baby, you'll be. Love you bye."
Rathwell was one of five young adults who were stabbed to death early April 15.
Funerals for Joshua Hunter, 23, Kaitlin Perras, 23, and Jordan Segura, 22, were held Monday.
Zackariah and the Prophets, Rathwell and Hunter's band, had recently released its first EP and the music was featured at the funeral.
- Watch a live performance of Zackariah and the Prophets
The Zackariah James Rathwell Trust Fund has been established to help students pursue their dreams in the arts. Donations can be made at any RBC location.
Matthew de Grood, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in all five deaths. De Grood had a court hearing Tuesday where he was ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment to determine if he is fit to stand trial.
Funeral, transit service planned for Hong
A funeral for Lawrence Hong, 27, is set for Wednesday at the Centre Street Church in Calgary at 1:30 p.m. MT.
Calgary Transit, with help from friends and family, are making arrangements for a special bus service because Lawrence was such a strong supporter of sustainable transportation.
"It's fitting because he loved Calgary Transit, and he wanted to work at Calgary Transit," said Jonathan Lea, a senior transit planner.
Staff members and friends are pitching in to make service possible. Hong volunteered at a lot of events promoting Calgary Transit.
"You see him across the room, and you just want to go over and talk to him. He just has that kind of energy," Lea recalled.