By JEFFREY R. HAGERMANA funeral home owner David R. Schimmel has been through many a funeral in his life.
For years, he has been in a state of limbo.
He has been unable to see his son’s body and has no money to pay for a funeral.
This is the third time he has died in the last seven years.
But now the city of Lawrence is opening its doors again to his grieving family, and offering a memorial service on Monday.
Richesman’s son, David R., was fatally shot in the back in December of 2015.
The next day, Schimmels wife, Debra, went to pick up their three children from school and went back home.
But she noticed a woman was sitting in her driveway.
Debra said that woman was David R.’s stepmother.
“She was in her mid-40s, was wearing a wig and a face mask, and she was screaming,” Debra Schimmell said.
“I walked up and asked, ‘Who’s there?'”
The woman told her, “David R. is dead.”
Debra says the woman looked out the window of the home and saw that David R was dead.
“Then she said, ‘It’s your son!'”
Debra and Debra’s two young sons were sitting in their father’s lap, crying.
The Schimmells say they never thought their father was dead and are devastated by what happened.
“He was a great father to us and always had a smile on his face,” Debre Schimmelman said.
David Schimmeled’s funeral was held at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
The Schimmelling family said the service is free and open to the public.
“When people say that the funeral home isn’t going to have a funeral for you, that they won’t be able to take care of you, I say it’s not true,” David SchimmELMEL, Sr., said.
“The funeral home will come and take care and I will be there to take a picture with my son.”
A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. at the cemetery on Monday, and the city says a memorial to David R will be erected in his honor on Monday afternoon.
“This is a place where we can be united and mourn our loss together and this is a time to remember him and the outpouring of love he had for us,” Lawrence Mayor Jeff Regan said in a statement.
The city says the memorial service will begin at 7:30 p.ms.
The family is asking for the community to pray for them and their family.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss of life and want to assure the community that the city’s compassionate approach to grieving and offering condolences will not be a substitute for the service itself,” the statement reads.
The family is now holding a memorial at their home in Lawrence, and they hope to have more services to mark the anniversary.