Parents to remember children in ceremony

ADRIAN O’HANLON III | Staff photoFallon Sue Turner died in a June 2006 car crash. Her mother, Peggy DeFrange, honors her in the pictured medallion.

Locals will soon gather to remember and honor their lost children.

A candle-lighting ceremony will will take place on Sunday at the Little Chapel on the Hill at 101 E. Washington Ave. with Dr. James Crowson set to deliver a heartfelt message to those dealing with the loss of a child.

“It’s a great thing for parents that have lost children,” said Peggy DeFrange, a Krebs parent who lost a child and helps organize the event.

“That is when you honor a child that you’ve lost or you can honor a niece or nephew, a cousin or grandchild,” DeFrange said. “It’s open to anyone who wants to, can be a part of it.”

DeFrange said the local event will start at 7 p.m. on Sunday, but anyone is welcome starting about an hour beforehand to sign up. She said attendees provide their information so the group can send cards each year.

The event is held in conjunction with the Worldwide Candle Lighting event organized each year by The Compassionate Friends, according to DeFrange.

She said the inaugural local gathering was hosted by Gail and Larry Allford in memory of their son, Eric. According to DeFrange, the first event was held on a chilly day near the God’s Little Angel statue at Chadick Park — and despite the freezing weather, it was well-attended.

DeFrange lost her daughter, Fallon Sue Turner, at the age of 23 in a June 2006 fatal car crash. Turner graduated from McAlester High School in the same class as the Allfords’ son, which DeFrange said was something that connected her with the pair.

She wears a necklace with a medallion showing a picture of her daughter, in addition to a bracelet with several charms in memory of her.

DeFrange said several parents honor their children with medallions or charms on bracelets.

She said a group of people who lost their children continue the tradition of hosting the event each year.

This year’s event will feature a guest speaker, lighting of candles in honor of children, then refreshments and fellowship after closing ceremony.

DeFrange said Gerri Burris will also play piano during the ceremony.

The event is free and open to anyone wishing to honor a lost child.

For more information call 918-429-2667.

Contact Adrian O’Hanlon III at aohanlon@mcalesternews.com