Walking with grief

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They came in droves to celebrate her life.

They came old and young. Teary-eyed and pink-clad.

Her fight was over but her warriors remained.

And more than 150 of them marched down McLeod Street in her honor Oct. 2.

Connie Kunda was one of those rare people, her friends would say, one of those people that could light up a room by simply walking into it.

She was full of energy — a true fitness enthusiast. So, when it came time to decide what course to take in honoring her memory, the crew at The Firehouse thought, what better than a walk? 

And so they braved rainy skies from McLeod Street to Lions Club Park.

Some carried umbrellas, a friend’s hand, a balloon.

It was an undoubtedly somber occasion, but there was laughter in it, too. 

They shared memories and funny anecdotes of their late friend-co-worker-cheer mom. 

The crowd reassembled at the park’s baseball field and stood in silence as pastor Jeremy Duprey said a short, but heartfelt prayer to mark the occasion. 

“We especially thank you for your presence with her and the gift that she’s been to our community,” Duprey said.

Before he was through, many of the cheerleaders were brought to tears for their late coach; and looking around the audience, they were not alone.

Story and photos by MACKENZIE REISS / Pioneer Staff Writer

To read the rest of the story about Connie Kunda's tribute walk, pick up a copy of the Oct. 8 edition of the Pioneer or subscribe to our e-edition. Current subscribers are provided access to the e-edition at no additional charge.