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Family remembered as loving, friendly

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ It was hard to single out a member of the Somers-Wilder family during funeral services Friday.

The family who died in a house fire Sunday along with a family friend, was always together, said Beth Ramos, who gave the eulogy for the Somers-Wilder family.

``When you saw one, you saw the other,'' she said. ``They were devoted to each other, showed unconditional love and gave more than they received.''

At funeral services Friday, the church sanctuary overflowed with mourners. The adjoining gymnasium was full. So were the halls.

``They were a blessing to those who knew them,'' said Rodney Hernandez, bishop at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where the funeral was held.

Jack and Connie Somers-Wilder; their children, Daneel, 19, Leisylle, 17, Aimy, 11; and Kayla Hayes, 15, a close family friend, all died in the fire. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

The family and Hayes died of smoke inhalation _ trapped in their home by flames, burglar bars and a garage door blocked by moving boxes, Oklahoma City fire officials said.

Dozens of airmen from Tinker Air Force Base, where Kayla's father works, served as parking attendants at the funeral.

``She had positive things to say, was quiet, loving, compassionate and always told the truth,'' said Lynda Gipson, who gave Kayla's eulogy. ``Kayla knew what she wanted, knew what she liked.

``They say still waters run deep _ that was Kayla.''

Gipson said the Somers-Wilder family brought Kayla to church a couple of years ago and she was baptized last January.

Kayla and Leisylle were close friends, Gipson said.

The Heart of Oklahoma Choir honored Leisylle by singing ``Peace Be Still,'' her solo at the group's last spring tour in Chicago.

She was a strong leader, loved to read, volunteered for the Red Cross and dedicated herself to the church, said Beth Ramos, who gave the eulogy for the Somers-Wilder family.

``There's something I remember that spoke a lot about Leisylle,'' said Leslie Martinez, 20. ``Two years ago, we were horseback riding at youth camp. She fell off the horse, but got back up.

``She was scared, but still rode.''

Jack Wilder was remembered as a family man who loved to sing. He was a member of the OK Chorale, which also performed during services Friday.

Connie Somers-Wilder worked as a nurse at Baptist Medical Center's diabetes department.

``She was a very loving person and put others ahead of herself,'' said Heather Mooneyham, who worked with Connie for 18 years at Baptist. ``She was truly unselfish and always had time for you.''

Connie also taught Sunday school and directed the choir.

Students at Metro Tech who attended school with Daneel Somers-Wilder wore orange ribbons in his honor.

``Daneel always brought an orange tool box to school,'' said Roy Paulson, 18.

Daneel was studying to become a residential carpenter and was preparing for his Mormon mission trip.

Daneel's youngest sister, Aimy, was a skilled basketball player, animal lover and house chef, Ramos said.

``She loved cooking for the family,'' she said.
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