TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. - It was the beginning of goodbyes for friends and family of Beau and Calyx Schenecker, who were murdered by their own mother last week, according to police.
The two were celebrated in song as the chior sang "Eyes of an angel" by Sarah McLaughlin. Teachers and classmates remembered them both with poems.
Beau's teacher from Liberty Middle School, Daisy Questal, read "Good-byes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end, goodbyes are simply saying until we meet again and we will."
The choir continued to sing as pictures of the two children played high inside the church for all to see as their father, Army Colonel Parker Schenecker sat in the front row. He was stoic and drawn as he held back tears.
"Calyx was the kind of student that, as a teacher, motivates you to plan the best lessons, just so you can see what she'll do with it," said Jeff Hale of King High School.
"Our family misses him so much, because he was a part of it. I loved Beau like a brother and I'll miss him forever," said Scott Patchan, one of Beau's closest friends.
Teachers and friends told stories of the 16-year-old over-achiever and her 13-year-old brother, a stellar athlete. Then the music played again. "I Hope You Dance" seemed to go on forever as pictures of Beau and Calyx's short lives played for more than 1,300 mourners.
But it was the soldier who on this night won the battle of emotions and stood up for his only son and daughter.
"Whether you wore blue or some Harry Potter glasses, lit a candle or laid a flower or signed a soccer jersey, you honored my children," said Colonel Schenecker.
He paused and took a deep breath. His eyes were haunted with pain but there he stood, tall and proud of Calyx and Beau as he commanded the crowd.
"We are humbled and overwhelmed by your support and your love. They loved you too, please don't forget how they lived," said the soldier.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Police say a Department of Children and Families investigator has been charged with sexual battery, accused of abusing his authority and raping a woman he met through work.