At funeral, hundreds remember slain 6-year-old as joyful, loving

At funeral, hundreds remember slain 6-year-old as joyful, loving

A quilt is draped over six-year-old Alanna Gallagher's casket on July 11, 2013 at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Richland Hills.

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Funeral services were held Thursday for 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher at the Calvary Lutheran Church where she diligently attended Sunday school and services.

More than 350 people gathered to remember the little girl who loved to wear pretty dresses and the color purple.

There were many pictures of Alanna smiling, happy and full of life. Her pastor says they wanted to keep the service upbeat and sang only cheerful hymns at the request of her family. 

“She was a delightful girl filled with joy," said Reverend Phillip Heinz. "This was her favorite place to be." 

All three of her parents spoke. Miles McDaniel, who is one of her two fathers, said, "Alanna was absolutely a wonderful child. She loved to meet people and said she had the best family in world."     

Each speaker talked about how she loved to sing church hymns at the top of her lungs.

“She would be bouncing while she sang," Heinz said. 

Her coffin was draped with a quilt made by her mother Laura, who sang a song she and Alanna wrote together. And she picked the scripture.

"Laura picked out Psalms 37, 'Do not envy the wicked, for they will receive their just reward.'"

Gallagher was found dead on a residential street in Saginaw on July 1. Police haven't made any arrests but have questioned McDaniel. They continue to say the family is not suspected in her murder.

But on this day the focus was not on that, but Alanna's life. On her last birthday, her teacher said she sang. "God is bigger than the boogeyman." 

Rev. Heinz said it was one of the most difficult funerals he’s presided over. 

“This one is painful because of the nature of her death and because she is six-years-old. No one should die at six.”    

Those who loved Alanna wanted people to know she inspired them with her faith and filled them with joy with her laughter.

Email rlopez@wfaa.com

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