Hundreds of strangers from El Paso, Texas — and across the United States — have extended their support and gestures of comfort to a man whose wife was killed in a mass shooting earlier this month.
Margie Reckard, 63, was among the 22 people killed when a gunman opened fire at an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3. Reckard’s husband of 22 years, Antonio Basco, has invited members of the public to his wife’s funeral service Friday, according to a Facebook post by a local funeral home.
Basco “welcomes anyone to attend” the service, Perches Funeral Home said, noting that the man “had no other family.”
“Let’s show him & his Wife some El Paso Love,” the post concluded.
People were quick to answer the call for help.
As of early Wednesday, the Facebook post had been shared more than 9,000 times and had garnered more than 1,000 comments.
Several El Paso residents promised to attend Reckard’s funeral service, with some saying they were willing to leave work early on Friday to ensure they make it on time.
People from as far away as California and New York expressed disappointment that they could not attend the service but said they would be sending flowers and cards to Basco. Others said they would light a candle for Reckard at the time of the service in honor of her memory.
H. Dean “Dino” Reckard, who identified himself as Margie Reckard’s son, started a fundraiser on Facebook last week to raise funds for his travel to El Paso.
“We need help with travel, lodging, and other expenses to get to El Paso Texas to lay her to rest,” he wrote. “It’s hard to believe that she is gone but she will never be forgotten.”
Dino Reckard told The New York Times he and his siblings’ father died in 1995 and that their mother later found a partner in Basco.
Speaking to KFOX-TV in the aftermath of the Walmart massacre, Basco described his late wife as an “angel.”
“She was an awesome lady,” he said, adding: “We were gonna live together and die together. That was our plan.”