WILLIAMSBURG - A standing-room-only crowd of nearly 300 area residents jammed into the Zion Lutheran Church on Friday morning to pay their respects to Kenneth D. Lynn, 60, and his son-in-law, William H. "Bill" Rhodes Jr., 38, two victims of the Dec. 21 shooting rampage along Juniata Valley Road in rural Frankstown Township.
Lynn and Rhodes worked as truck drivers for Grannas Brothers Construction & Contracting Co. Inc., of Hollidaysburg. Their two trucks, one a tanker and one for hauling stone, were parked outside the church, with black shrouds across the fronts and engines engaged in their honor.
Employees Patrick Rus and Josh Haney explained that they decided to bring the trucks to the service because both men were so well liked at Grannas Brothers.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Pallbearers bring out the casket of Williams Rhodes Jr. following funeral services at Zion Lutheran Church in Williamsburg on Friday.
Mirror photos by Patrick Waksmunski
The funeral procession of Kenneth Lynn and William Rhodes Jr. leaves funeral services in Williamsburg on Friday. The two hearses were followed by Grannas Bros. Construction & Contracting trucks. The yellow truck was formerly Kenneth Lynn’s truck, and the red truck was formerly William Rhodes Jr’s.
Mirror photos by Patrick Waksmunski
Trucks formerly used by Kenneth Lynn and William Rhodes Jr. are parked outside Zion Lutheran Church in Williamsburg before funeral services began Friday. The trucks were draped in black and used in the funeral procession.
"We lost two good friends and two very good workers," said Rus. "They really meant a lot to me."
Haney said that Lynn and Rhodes "really were guys who were fun to be around."
Those inside the church told many similar stories, describing Lynn and Rhodes as men who enjoyed hunting and who spent most of their off-hours with their families.
Both were also spiritually committed to the church from which they were being buried.
Lynn and his wife of nearly 40 years, Rose, had been married in the church, as had Rhodes and his wife, Jennifer.
Bill and Jennifer Rhodes were married for 13 years and have two children, Katelyn and Zachary.
Lynn was Zion Lutheran's head usher.
As the service began, two letters were read from family members, one from Aaron Woods stating that both Ken and Bill "are in heaven now." The letter described Rhodes as "strong, and kind" and "the outdoors type."
Lynn was described as "kind of heart, fun to be around and a healthy, fit individual."
Another family member brought smiles to many faces when he wrote that Lynn "loved his deer steak."
The Rev. Tiffany Marvich, Zion Lutheran's pastor, knew both men and their families very well. She said the large crowd had gathered for a very difficult task, which was "to try to make sense out of this senseless tragedy."
"God is not the cause of this unfairness. ... God is not the cause of all things," she said.
Marvich spoke about both men - the genuine love that Lynn had for his wife, each day giving her a kiss, and of how proud Rhodes was of his children.
"The children loved the softer side of Bill," Marvich said.
The tragic events of the week began with the crack of senseless and angry gunfire in a most unlikely place, a sparsely-populated suburban area of Frankstown Township.
In all, four people died, Lynn and Rhodes, both of rural Hollidaysburg; Kimberly Scott, 58, of Duncansville; and the man who shot them - Jeffrey Lee Michael, 44, who also lived along Juniata Valley Road.
State police killed Michael during a shootout when they responded to calls for help. Scott's funeral was held on Monday at the Martinsburg Grace Brethren Church.
It was up to Rose Lynn to provide some explanation for what had occurred, and she asked Pastor Marvich to tell the large congregation her thoughts.
Rose Lynn said she and her daughter, Jennifer, appreciated the outpouring of love from their neighbors and the community in general since the shootings.
"Rose said, 'It's all about love ... to love one another,'" said Marvich.
The service included a rendition of "Amazing Grace" by funeral director John Bolger and readings by other members of the clergy, including the Rev. Suzanne Morelli, the Rev. Elizabeth Hess and the Rev. Steve Lynn.
The audience also was asked to participate in the singing of "The Old Rugged Cross."
Lynn and Rhodes were interred at the New Canoe Creek Cemetery.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.