Reporting Jack Fink
KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – At the 2 Sisters Quilt Shoppe in Kaufman’s courthouse square, friends remember Cynthia McLelland. Bonnie DeLay says, “It’s just an awful loss. We’re never going to get to share those times again.” Cathy Spurlock says, “We’re going to miss that smile, if she wasn’t smiling, she was singing.”
Spurlock owns the store. She says they’ve become a tightly knit group, and says Cynthia shared a love of quilting and life. “She had the best bear hug I ever felt.” Like so many, she wonders why she and husband Mike, the Kaufman District Attorney would be murdered in their home.
After assistant DA Mark Hasse was gunned down January 31st, Spurlock says Cynthia was shaken, but remained strong. “She didn’t waiver. She got up everyday, left her home, and did what she would have done any other time, and we all got strength from Cynthia. She was all about positive, up-lifting and when the subject came up, she would quickly change it. She wasn’t going to let it lead her life.” Friends say Cynthia never met a stranger. “She wanted to know who you were as a person and didn’t matter what you told her. At the end of the conversation, there was a hug waiting for you.”
On Friday, family, friends, and members of law enforcement paid their final respects to the couple in Mike McLelland’s hometown of Wortham, a small community 75 miles south of Dallas. After a very somber week, attendees experienced a light hearted moment, when they sang “King of the Road”.
Back at the quilt shop Mrs. McLelland loved so much, one of the quilts she made hangs on the wall. Perhaps appropriately, the pattern is filled with hearts. Spurlock says “Cathy felt that each heart represented a strength or memory of that person. As she was making the quilt, you would hear the stories.”
Bonnie DeLay cherishes the left-over fabric Cynthia gave her from one of her quilts — so she could make her own. DeLay says, “The fact that I have something she partially did, and that I finished, is pretty kind of special to me.”
But unlike a quilt, DeLay says Cynthia will never be duplicated. “She was truly a one of a kind, when God created her, he really broke the mold.”
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