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Funerals, memorials for Aurora shooting victims planned across nation

Around the country, funeral and memorial services are being arranged for those killed in Friday's movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., as families and friends grieve and find ways to honor their loved ones.

Among the victims: a hockey blogger, a military veteran with two young children and an aspiring art teacher.

In Aurora, a candlelight vigil for the victims was held Sunday night, with family and friends of the victims in attendance.

Jordan Ghawi, the brother of 24-year-old aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi, wrote on his blog Monday that a memorial service for Jessica will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in San Antonio at the Community Bible Church. Her body will be cremated in Denver, before being flown back to Texas — the state where she spent most of her life.

Related: 6-year-old girl, sailor, aspiring broadcaster among Colorado shooting victims

Matt McQuinn, 27, died from injuries he sustained while trying to shield his girlfriend, Jessica Yowler, from bullets in the movie theater. According to the Springfield News-Sun, a visitation will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Maiden Lane Church of God in Springfield, Ohio. A fund to help offset costs for these arrangements is set up at that church. On Saturday, his funeral is at 10 a.m. and burial is at Lawrenceville Cemetery in Clark County, Ohio.

Services for Micayla Medek, 23, take place this week, a family spokesperson said. A viewing is 2 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Newcomer Funeral Home & Crematory at 190 North Potomac in Aurora. The service for Medek will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the New Hope Baptist Church at 3701 Colorado Boulevard in Denver. A memorial fund also was set up: the Micayla Medek Memorial Fund at the Fitzsimons Credit Union (800-919-2872).

The family of John Larimer, 27, has not be able to make funeral arrangements yet, because they're not sure when his body will be released, father Scott Larimer told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday.

"While we are overwhelmed by pain by this terrible loss, we are mindful of the other 11 families mourning the loss of another promising, wonderful young person, and the dozens of other families at the bedside of their injured loved one, hoping, praying they recover fully," Larimer's aunt, Karen Lavin, said in a statement to the Northwest Herald — a newspaper in Larimer's hometown of Crystal Lake, Ill. "None of us will ever fully recover from such a terrible loss, the senseless, brutal actions that in just seconds took so many, so much away from us."

It was Alex Sullivan's 27th birthday on Friday, when he fell victim to the gunfire. Christine Turner, the Sullivan family's spokesperson, told NBC News on Monday that the family is still determining plans for a memorial service.

Shelly Fradkin, the mother of one of Sullivan's good friends, spoke to the Longmont Times-Call: "We're shocked. We're numb. We're sick," Fradkin said. "Our hearts are broken, and we're crushed."

Alex Teves, 24, was shielding his girlfriend from the flying bullets.

"You're talking about probably one of the best people on Earth, and he can't be replaced," father Tom Teves told Denver's NBC-affiliate, KUSA. "He can't be replaced for our family. He can't be replaced in society. We're going to miss him terribly. We love him. We know he's in Heaven. We know he's going to be ok. We're the ones who're going to suffer."

The Teves family is planning memorial services in Arizona and New Jersey.

Jonathan Blunk, 26, also passed while attempting to shield his girlfriend. Chantel Blunk, his estranged wife, told NBC News from Reno, Nev.: "He wanted to die a hero." She said there are plans to bring his body home to Reno, and has set up an account through Wells Fargo to raise funds to offset the funeral and transportation expenses. Blunk will be buried with military honors.

Jesse Childress, 29, threw himself in front of a friend during the gunfire. Originally from the Palmdale, Calif.-area, Childress was an Air Force reservist on active duty and stationed at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Schwald told The Denver Post on Saturday: "He was a huge part of our unit, and this is a terrible loss. The person that did this was an incredible coward."

Alexander Jonathan "AJ" Boik, 18, had plans to attend art school, become an art teacher and open his own studio. A spokesperson for Aurora Public Schools, where Boik was a recent graduate of Gateway High School, said there was a private memorial service Monday.

Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32, was originally from Quinlan, Texas. Father Steve Hernandez wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday: I lost my daughter yesterday to a mad man, my grief right now is inconsolable, I hear she died instantly, without pain, however the pain is unbearable." A college fund has been set up for Wingo's two daughters at the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust, according to KUSA.

Gordon W. Cowden was the oldest victim at age 51. In a statement to reporters cited in the Austin American-Statesman, his family stated: "A quick witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor, he will be remembered for his devotion to his children and for always trying his best to do the right thing, no matter the obstacle."

Veronica Moser-Sullivan was the youngest victim at age 6. Her father, Ian Sullivan, told KUSA, "She's always been a free-spirited child."

As of Tuesday, a fund for all the victims and families of the tragedy has reached $2 million, KUSA reported. People can donate online at GivingFirst.org.

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