RIVER FALLS, Wis. (AP) -- Family members from around the country and friends gathered at a golf club in River Falls to celebrate the lives of three young sisters.
Eleven-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia Schaffhausen were killed at their home in River Falls last week. Their father has been charged in their deaths.
Their great uncle, Flint Watt, says family and friends laughed and cried as they shared stories about the girls and their antics. Amara liked soccer and gymnastics and was a budding scientist. Sophie excelled in art and the martial arts while Cecilia loved painting and searching for bugs.
Watt says the family has not yet received the girls' remains and when they do, a private funeral service will be held.
STORY FROM 7/17/2012
RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - For the past week, life in River Falls has seemed to come to a stand-still. Time passes, but moments, emotions, do not move so easily.
"Still really sad, people are still mourning it," said Chris Crooks, who lives in River Falls.
Many here are still trying to come to terms of what has happened in the past week, some wanting to do so without words.
"It's such a sad thing that happened, I know some people can't even talk about, can't still understand everything," Crooks added.
In the town of 15,000 people, folks tell us it is a close knit place. People feel like family. And while everyone feels this loss, for some, it is even more personal.
"I was real close friends with Amara, so I really wanted to get to know her a lot better," said Celia Olson.
She and her dad, Jim, say they are planning to go to the memorial service being held for the three girls. A chance for a community to stand together, looking out for one another.
"We're keeping our kids close and taking care of them," said Jim Olson, Celia's father.
He says while tonight's memorial service will help with the healing, it is a process that cannot happen in one night.
"It's gonna be tough for a really long time," he said.