McClendons Honored at the Church They Served

Garrard McClendon lacks bitterness, wants justice

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCChicago.com
    Caskets containing the bodies of Ruby and Milton McClendon outside St. Paul Episcopal Church in Munster, Ind.

    Ruby McClendon's name can still be seen on the on her mailbox at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Munster, Indiana.  No one at the church, where the couple were ushers for years, has the heart to remove it.

    On Monday, the bodies of Ruby and Milton McClendon were ushered to the front of the church for funeral services where more than 1,000 mourners came to pay their respects.

    The McClendons' sons -- Garrard, Theo and Duane -- described their parents as pillars of their community. Milton McClendon, 78, used to chase "thugs" out of the neighborhood on his bicycle, Theo McClendon said during the memorial service, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    Ruby and Milton McClendon were found murdered in a suburban forest preserve last week and friends and family say they're having trouble saying goodbye.

    "It hurt real bad when I heard what happened," said Gene Anderson, who has known the family since 1954 and spent many years ushering with the elderly couple..

    Anderson said Ruby was a nurturer, and that she always had a smile on her face.

    According to the family's pastor, Garrard McClendon, a news talk show host for CLTV, wants his parents' killers to face the music.

    "There is a lack of bitterness [in Garrard] ... but a longing for justice" Pastor Bennett Jones said.  "Its extraordinary under these circumstances; many family and friends are bitter for him. "

    Garrard said last week that he has already forgiven the killers, but that he wants the to pay for thier crimes.