WATONGA — Erma Daukei wept Thursday as she gripped the lectern behind her daughter’s casket and read a poem she wrote to the slain 8-year-old.
“You touched so many lives without knowing it,” Daukei said during Rosalin Reynolds’ funeral service. “Rosa, you have been loved and you are very well missed. I will take care of your brothers and sister very well.”
About 500 people packed the Watonga High School gym to remember Rosalin, who was found fatally stabbed March 23 in a field outside her family’s Watonga apartment. Dozens of family members and friends sat in folding chairs arranged on the gymnasium floor while hundreds of others filled about three-quarters of the seats in the stands.
The funeral service began with prayers and a Cheyenne song sung to the tune of “Amazing Grace” and featured several speakers, including the pastor of the church in Elk City that Rosalin attended before moving to Watonga before her first-grade year.
Rosalin’s small white casket was adorned with traditional American Indian blankets and flowers. More flowers, pictures and blankets were arranged on both sides of the casket.
Watonga School District Superintendent Craig Cummins described the day of Rosalin’s death as “one of the saddest days in our history.”
“We don’t want to remember the horrible things, the bad things that happened,” Cummins said. “We’re going to remember the things she shared with us.”
April Green Swanegan, another speaker, read from a poem called “The Dash.