A relative of the slain girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher said Thursday that she was a loyal friend who brought joy to others with her smiles and laughter.
Kasandra Perkins' great-uncle Ted Downing also told mourners at a funeral service that the 22-year-old Perkins loved her family and considered her 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, to be the love of her life.
"She had a deep, deep understanding about the important things in life," Downing said during a memorial at a rural North Texas church five days after Belcher killed Perkins then shot himself in the head.
A white casket bedecked with a spray of white lilies and pink roses was the mourners' focal point at Ridgeview Family Fellowship in Blue Ridge, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas.
"It's a very tragic circumstance, a tragic situation," pastor Steve Sweeney told mourners.
He offered a prayer for God to bring healing to both her family and Belcher's family. He also prayed for strength for Perkins' infant daughter, Zoey, who was at the service. More than 200 attended the service, including Chiefs owner Clark Hunt.
The family made sure the focus was on celebrating Perkins' life.
Downing said Perkins was a loyal friend, recalling a time when she was a child when she was upset that a friend of hers did not get a desired part in a play.
"She always had no shortage of friends and I mean good friends," Downing said.
He said the family is grieving incredibly hard, but has faith that they will persevere and get through this for Zoey's sake.
Life Celebration Funeral Home says a separate service will be held Saturday in Austin, followed by burial in nearby Pflugerville.
Belcher shot Perkins at their Kansas City home Saturday morning. He then drove with a handgun to Arrowhead Stadium, where he thanked team officials before making the sign of the cross, kneeling down and shooting himself in the head.
According to the Turrentine Jackson Morrow funeral home, Perkins is also survived by two siblings, her parents, grandparents and a great-grandmother.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-03-11 13:00:39 GMT
A man has been arrested in connection with the 2012 beating death of a 70-year-old man in New Britain, police said.Alexis Rodriguez, 32, was identified as the suspect in the murder of James Joseph, Sr.,More >
A man has been arrested in connection with the 2012 beating death of a 70-year-old man in New Britain, police said.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:28 AM EDT2014-03-11 12:28:24 GMT
A Hartford police sergeant was in the hot seat following a high speed chase that was caught on camera. A few weeks ago, Sgt. Eric Smith barreled through a red light on a city street, hit speeds of 80 milesMore >
A Hartford police sergeant was in the hot seat following a high speed chase that was caught on camera.More >
Monday, March 10 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-03-10 22:49:18 GMT
One of the two men accused in a deadly Cheshire home invasion in 2007 was found "unresponsive" in his cell Monday morning.Steven Hayes, who was convicted in a 2007 attack in which Jennifer Hawke-PetitMore >
One of the two men accused in a deadly Cheshire home invasion in 2007 was found "unresponsive" in his cell Monday morning.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 12:13 PM EDT2014-03-11 16:13:37 GMT
Firefighters in West Haven are on the scene of an early morning fire. Officials said the fire was called in at 89 Coleman Street shortly after 4:30 a.m. There is no word on if anyone has been injured. WFSBMore >
Officials said a couple and their grown daughter were killed in an early morning fire Tuesday at a West Haven condominium complex.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 7:51 AM EDT2014-03-11 11:51:06 GMT
Health officials are investigating two cases of measles in Fairfield County and now, schools are warning parents about the disease.An adult, whose age was not provided, and an infant got the measles, accordingMore >
Health officials are investigating two cases of measles in Fairfield County, and now schools are warning parents about the disease.More >
Monday, March 10 2014 9:25 AM EDT2014-03-10 13:25:30 GMT
Patients and doctors said they were worried that their personal information was exposed after someone found medical records from a lab in Newington.Therese Carey said she was surprised when EyewitnessMore >
Patients and doctors said they were worried that their personal information was exposed after someone found medical records from a lab in Newington.More >
Monday, March 10 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-03-10 21:12:44 GMT
State police are investigating a medical incident in Lebanon Monday morning. Officers were called to a scene on Smith Road around 8:50 a.m. The incident remains under investigation by state police andMore >
State police are investigating after two people were found dead in a motor vehicle in Lebanon Monday morning.More >