Victims of flash floods mourned at funerals
A casket is taken into Murrysville Community Church for the funeral for Kimberly, Brenna and Mikaela Griffith, who died in Friday's flash flood along Washington Boulevard.
Mourners arrive for the funeral service for flood victims Kimberly, Brenna and Mikaela Griffith.
A hearse arrives at Murrysville Community Church for the funeral for flood victims Kimberly, Brenna and Mikaela Griffith.
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Funerals were held today for the four people who died in last week's flash flood in the East End.
Nearly 450 people gathered at the tiny Murrysville Community Church to mourn the loss of a Plum woman and her two children.
Kimberly Griffith, 45, and her daughters Mikaela, 8, and Brenna, 12, were remembered for their cheerfulness, warmth and generosity at the service.
Scott Griffith, the girls' uncle, said "In 12 short years, Brenna changed my life. She made it better. Mikaela did the same."
Mrs. Griffith was an active member of the church, traveling on mission trips to Belize at least twice to help build schools and minister to children. Congregants recalled her bringing her "supermom" qualities to the missions, once toting a duffel bag of nearly 100 Frisbees so that every student at a school in the Central American country could have one.
As public officials continue to be questioned about how the flash flood, which covered the family's minivan on Washington Boulevard, happened, the Rev. Kevin R. Labby urged the congregation to not feel vengeful.
"It is good to revisit the design of structures and roads after tragedies such as these," he said. "It is cynical to do so in a spirit of vengeance."
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Safety Director Michael Huss prayed alongside the grieving loved ones of Mary Saflin this morning at Oakmont's St. Irenaeus Catholic Church.
Outside the church they embraced sobbing relatives before they quietly parted.
The Rev. Frank Kurimsky told dozens of mourners that it was important to come together to pray for Ms. Saflin, 72, one of four who died in Friday's flash flood on Washington Boulevard. A loving neighbor, grandmother and wife, she attended Mass regularly at St. Irenaeus.
"The God she knelt down to and prayed to here at St. Irenaeus, we give her to that God today," he said. "This is her journey, hard for us to understand, hard for us to grasp."
First Published August 24, 2011 11:30 am