Fort Collins Coloradoan
Published 2:05 p.m. UTC Sep 2, 2018
Family members want to see good come from the tragic deaths of Shanann Watts and her two daughters and unborn son, Father John Forbes said at their funeral Saturday.
Shanann's husband, Christopher Watts, is accused of killing her and their two children, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, in the family's suburban-Denver home last month.
Forbes led the traditional Catholic funeral mass for Shanann Watts, 34, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Forbes said Shanann's mother described her daughter as a "fireball" who worked hard to be an exceptional wife and mother and make a difference in people's lives, and her daughters as bringing light to those around them, especially their grandparents and uncle.
In a letter read by Forbes at the funeral, Shanann's mother, Sandra Onorati Rzucek, wrote to her daughter and grandchildren that "Mom, Nonna, loves you with all her soul."
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And she prayed for those who have reached out or cried with them and thanked God.
"I can only pray to you that this tragedy changes everyone's soul to be close to you. Please continue to hold us all in your love and protection."
Forbes also read letters from Shanann's father, Frank Rzucek, and brother Frankie Rzucek.
"Daddy loves you," Frank Rzucek wrote. "You are a wonderful daughter and a great mother."
He called Shanann "nothing but pure love, always caring for everyone," and he said she would always be "Daddy's little girl."
And to his grandchildren, he told them that they could always make "Pop Pop" have days filled with smiles, adding that he would take care of Celeste's truck and that Bella would "always be my silver bells."
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Frankie Rzucek wrote in his letter that he always knew his sister would be successful and how tough it was to have her and her daughters live so far away and that he couldn't be there to protect them.
He shared how happy and ready Shanann was to be a mother, and that "she was my mom times 10 whether either one of them wanted to admit it."
Shanann's girls were well-dressed and well-mannered, he said, and she taught them to be brave and independent, like herself. He called her the "perfect role model" growing up.
"She was ready to take on the world, and we know she did," he said.
Christopher Watts, 33, is accused of killing Shanann after returned from a business trip in the early morning hours of Aug. 13.
Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant at the time, and Forbes said Shanann's family members want to see a law passed to protect unborn children like their grandson Nico.
Christopher Watts has been formally charged with nine felonies, including three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree murder of a child under the age of 12 by a person in a position of trust, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
While Shanann's family members "want to see justice done," Forbes said that they weren't seeking vengeance and death, rather justice and light.
Follow Saja Hindion on Twitter: @BySajaHindi