TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. (AP) - The father of two slain Tampa teenagers says he is humbled by the support he's received since his son and daughter were found fatally shot last week, allegedly by their mother.
Army Col. Parker Schenecker thanked those who attended a 90-minute "celebration of life" service Wednesday night in honor of his children, 13-year-old Beau and 16-year-old Calyx. Police have alleged that his wife, 50-year-old Julie Powers Schenecker, fatally shot the pair last week for being "mouthy." There was no mention of her at the service.
Parker Schenecker, who is stationed at the headquarters of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, was in Qatar at the time of the killings, police said.
During the service, friends and teachers stepped to the podium to share memories of the Schenecker children. Outside, in the church lobby, a long line formed to write messages to the siblings, whose photos were perched on a table.
The grieving father sat in the front row, listening to the tribute. As each student left the stage, he was there to offer a hug.
When it was his turn, Parker Schenecker spoke of his appreciation for the memorial. He also asked his children's friends to carry on their memories. "Please don't forget how they lived," he said.
Allison Newton, who taught language arts to Beau Schenecker at Liberty Middle School, said she has already come up with a way to remember the child.
"His seat in the classroom will remain empty in honor Beau," Newton was quoted as saying by The Tampa Tribune.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)