Funeral service for 8 members of Texas family being held in southeastern MN


A small town in southeastern Minnesota will be the site of a large outpouring of grief Thursday.

Hundreds of mourners are expected at a church in La Crescent, where a funeral service will be held for two adults and six children found shot to death in their Houston, Texas, home this month.

The victims were Valerie Jackson, 40, her husband Dwayne Jackson, and six of her children. Valerie Jackson's former boyfriend is charged with murdering them.

Pastor Gregg Nelson of La Crescent United Methodist Church tells WCCO Radio the only surviving sibling in the family lives in La Crescent.

Nelson tells WCCO he expects the sight of eight caskets lined up for a single funeral service will be emotionally devastating.

Nelson tells the station other pastors in the area have volunteered to help provide counseling for the mourners who will be in town Thursday.

The Associated Press reports Valerie Jackson had formerly lived in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and says extended family members from the Chicago area are among those expected.

According to an obituary in the La Crosse Tribune, some of her children had special needs. The victims include Nathaniel, who was 13; Honesty, 11; Dwayne, 10; Caleb, 9; Trinity, 7; and Jonah, 6.

A memorial service for the family was held earlier this week in Houston. Allen Dave, the owner of a funeral home who provided services to the family at no coast told KPRC-TV: "We are normally faced with the death of one family member at a time, not an entire family, children involved.”

A crowd funding page was started by Valerie Jackson's brother in hopes of raising $50,000 to cover the cost of transporting the bodies to La Crescent, where they will be buried at Prince of Peace Cemetery, the obituary says.

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