Beneath McQuinn’s edginess lived ‘a golden retriever’

Published: Saturday, July 28, 2012 @ 3:23 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 28, 2012 @ 3:23 PM


            
            Barbara J. Perenic
(Barbara J. Perenic)

Behind Matt McQuinn’s sunglasses, behind the edgy, pierced look he showed to the world was a man with a mischievous sense of humor and a golden retriever’s warmth, his uncle told a memorial service Saturday morning at Springfield’s Maiden Lane Church of God.

Pastor Herb Shaffer said his 27-year-old nephew called the oversized shades he pushed up on his head his “man tiara,” an anecdote that spoke about the person whose striking eyes and mugging demeanor have been seen on broadcasts and in newspapers since July 20, when McQuinn died saving his girlfriend from a slaughter in an Aurora, Colo., multiplex.

Steps away from her boyfriend’s edgily dressed body, Samantha Yowler, of St. Paris, rested her wounded leg on a chair during the ceremony that gave way to an 80-car procession to Lawrenceville Cemetery, where McQuinn was buried.

The Vandalia Butler High School graduate was killed by three gunshot wounds he suffered as he shielded Yowler during the attack that killed 12 and wounded 52.

“In moments of crisis, the true character of a person comes out,” said Shaffer, a brother of McQuinn’s mother, Jerri Jackson, of Springfield. “You don’t have time to think of what you’re going to do.”

McQuinn’s “immediate response,” said Shaffer, “was to protect the one he loved.”

Shaffer and Maiden Lane Pastor Mark Martin cast McQuinn’s self-sacrifice in context with two Biblical passages, one from Galatians saying the only things of lasting value involve “faith expressing itself in love” and another from the Gospel of John stating that “no greater love has one man than this: that he laid down his life for his friends.”

“We didn’t just see that (from McQuinn) on July 20,” Shaffer said.

With a family photo on a screen, Shaffer pointed out McQuinn as a child comforting his cousin, Amber, who was having a bad day when the families were out on a hike.

“Even at 7 years old, Matt … could pick up on that kind of thing,” Shaffer said.

He added that, as a young man, his nephew sometimes dressed in a way that “made you want to cross to the other side of the street. But then he opened up his mouth, and he couldn’t betray who he was.”

McQuinn teased those he loved mercilessly and “you never knew what he was going to say,” Shaffer said. “He was the only one I’ve ever seen who could speak to my dad the way he did and get away with it.”

The reason, he said, was that there was “never any malice” in McQuinn, only “a contagious enjoyment of life” and “an exuberance … that added value to others’ lives.”

“Underneath there,” said Shaffer, “(was) a golden retriever.”

Telling grieving friends and relatives “there are no easy answers” and that “this is not the time for platitudes,” Shaffer advised that “the only way to the other side of grief is through it.”

“We cannot do it alone,” he added. “So let’s make a commitment to one another to embrace the pain of saying goodbye today, to feel it together, to cry together to laugh together, to be angry together.”

“Our lives will never be the same,” he said. “The words Aurora, Cinema 16 shooting, Batman, will never mean the same again,” he added, and likely will serve as reminders of the hurt.

But with time, he said, “it will be good again” and “the very things that cause us pain now will become brighter and stronger and better for the rest of our lives.”

All who knew McQuinn “live with a commitment to be better because of his sacrifice,” said Shaffer, who urged his audience “to pray for those who are left … pray for the families that are left and … be better people.”

Outside the church, the media kept a respectful distance, and in the balcony of the church a reporter from the Denver Post said the entire Denver community has grieved.

“This has torn us up,” said Ray Rinaldi.

Pastor Martin thanked those who “have given of our time, given of yourselves” in offering comfort to the family and those who contributed to the church’s fund to help in the expenses of McQuinn’s burial.

Court: Cross shaped monument honoring WWI vets ruled unconstitutional

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 5:06 AM

An Eternal Flame monument dedicated to World War I casualties.
Harvey Meston/Getty Images
An Eternal Flame monument dedicated to World War I casualties.(Harvey Meston/Getty Images)

A 40-foot Latin cross-shaped monument in Maryland, built nearly a century ago to honor soldiers who died during World War I, has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court, CNN reported

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The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday by a 2-1 margin that the 92-year-old structure was in violation of the First Amendment because it is on public land at a busy intersection in Prince George's County and is maintained with government funds. The court's decision does not address whether the monument should be removed or modified.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the American Legion, who were named as defendants in the case, argued that the cross had a nonreligious purpose “does not have the primary effect of endorsing religion.”

But the appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, sided 2-1 with the American Humanist Association, an organization that advocates for secularism and represented several non-Christian residents of Prince George's County.

The memorial was completed in 1925 using contributions from private donors and the American Legion. It was acquired in 1961 by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

If the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, a district court judge would have to decide whether to order the removal of the cross, said David Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association.

"It's hard to think of remedies other than removal," Niose told CNN, though he said there is the "possibility of modifying the structure."

Dayton thief drops T-bone steaks down his shorts

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 4:37 AM

Police are searching for a man who dropped three T-Bone steaks down his shorts.

Officers were dispatched at 8:40 p.m. Friday to Groceryland, 1451 Troy St. in Dayton to a report of a theft.

The store manager told police he was walking down the meat aisle when he became suspicious by the behavior of a man talking to another customer. The manager later saw the man run out the front entrance. He ran after him, but lost sight of him after he went behind the store, according to a Dayton police report.

The manager showed police surveillance video footage, which shows the thief grab three T-bone steaks, which each cost between $10 and $20. Then, in a different aisle, the suspect places the steaks down his shorts, the report stated.

No arrests have been made.

Georgia man, 93, eats lunch daily next to photo of late wife 

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 4:10 AM

Clarence and Carolyn Purvis were married for 64 years until her death in 2013.
Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images
Clarence and Carolyn Purvis were married for 64 years until her death in 2013.(Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images)

A 93-year-old man from Georgia lost his wife four years ago, but he still has a daily lunch date with her.

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Clarence Purvis takes a picture of his late wife, Carolyn, and sets up her photograph at a table of their favorite eatery, Smith’s Restaurant in Reidsville, WTOC reported.

“She was always with me when we were livin',” Purvis told WTOC. “She's with me now."

Purvis met Carolyn Todd in 1948, when she was 16 years old and he was 24. They were wed the next year and were married for 64 years. She died on Nov. 22, 2013, at age 81, The Purvises owned Purvis Garage in Glennsville, where Carolyn lived her entire life. The couple had three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Clarence and Carolyn dined at Smith’s Restaurant for the last 13 years of her life. 

“Ain't nobody loved one another more than me and my wife loved one another,” Clarence Purvis said. “I wanted what she wanted and she wanted what I wanted."

Although his wife is gone, Clarence Purvis still bonds with her at lunchtime.

“He's a part of this restaurant,” Joyce James, the restaurant’s owner, told WTOC. “I asked my husband, I said, ‘You know, if something happened to me, will you put my picture on the table?’ He said, ‘I don't think so, dear.’ He said, ‘I love you but, that might be a little much.’” 

Purvis visits the Glennville Cemetery “at least four times a day” to visit his wife, WTOC reported.

“I imagine I come 125 times a month,” he told WTOC. “I love her that much. And miss her that much. And think she would with me."

Clear skies for meteor shower this weekend

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 5:53 AM
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 3:20 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini has a look at how cool we get and how active the meteor shower will be this weekend.

After finding Venus and Mars early in the week, another special treat awaits you in the early morning sky this weekend! 

>> Advice for best viewing of meteor shower

The Orionid meteor shower will put on a good show Friday night into Saturday morning, and Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Debris from Haley's comet will hit Earth's atmosphere. The Orionid shower gets its name because the meteors look like they are coming  from the constellation Orion. This year, 10 to 30 meteors per hour are possible. 

>> Warming trend continues; lower temps arrive next week

This weekend skies will cooperate for great viewing of the Orionid meteor shower!

Temperatures will drop into the middle 50s overnight Saturday into Sunday. The moon will set around 8:14 p.m. so skies will remain dark. Some high clouds will be out there Saturday night, but overall it will still be a good night to view.

>> #SkyWitness7

Get outside and grab a blanket, find a dark spot with a good view of the sky and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. If you capture any photos share them using the hashtag #SkyWitness7!