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An El Paso Widower Made A Heartbreaking Plea For Strangers To Attend His Wife’s Funeral Because She Was His Only Family

@bri_sacks / Twitter

The community of El Paso continues to mourn the loss of the victims from the massacre of nearly two weeks ago. But it’s not just the El Paso community that is in mourning, much of the nation (and, in fact, world) is mourning right there alongside El Paso. 

And thanks to one man’s heartbreaking tragedy, all of us are feeling the sorrows of El Paso. 

This man lost his wife in the El Paso Massacre and now he says he has no family left.

Antonio Basco had been sleeping on the pavement next to his wife’s new cross for nearly a week. The 61-year-old, who goes by Tony, isn’t sure what else to do. He’s been waking up next to Margie Reckard every morning since he met her 22 years ago in Omaha, Nebraska. “She was my world,” he said.

Basco and his wife, Margie Reckard, 63, met 22 years ago and quickly became inseparable. She became the love of his life and his only living relative, he said.

Upon news of the shooting at Walmart, Basco searched for Margie in local hospitals for hours, hoping to reunite with her, but the medical staff wouldn’t tell him anything. It wasn’t until Sunday that law enforcement officers contacted Basco and “told me that my wife had been murdered,” he said.

His wife who had been his angel, his partner and, without a doubt, the love of his life was not returning home.

To help celebrate his late wife’s memory, Antonio invited the whole community to her funeral.

When faced with the overwhelming task of planning his wife’s funeral, Basco realized that he didn’t really have anyone to invite. He decided to ask everyone, Harrison Johnson, the director of Perches Funeral Homes, told BuzzFeed News. So on Tuesday, the funeral home’s Facebook page posted details for the event and invited anyone to the service.

Since then, so many people have vowed to attend that the home said Wednesday night that it was moving the service to a larger venue.

“It’s going to be full,” Basco chuckled. “Makes me feel wonderful.”

Feeling this man’s grief, the community of El Paso rallied around him and vowed to attend the funeral.

The Facebook post and photo of Basco leaning over rows of glowing candles in front of his wife’s cross has now gone viral. More than 11,000 accounts have shared it, and scores of people from all over the US have left comments.

“We have people calling saying they’re flying in from all over — New Mexico, California, Nevada — and asking how to get here,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be an amazing turnout.”

Even people from as far as LA, New York, and even London, were finding ways to support this man in his time of need.

People from all over the world were tweeting their support. Many said they had sent flowers to the funeral home while some were flat out planning on flying into El Paso to attend the funeral.

And papers from the UK to Australia and across the US covered the man’s heartbreaking tragedy.

One woman on Twitter shared that she couldn’t make the service but had sent flowers to the funeral home instead.

In fact, more than 50 people have sent flowers to the funeral home and dozens more have sent cards and offered to help pay for the services.

Even Beto O’Rourke, who is an El Paso native, tweeted his support of Antonio.

The native of El Paso, who is also running for president, retweeted a news story about Antonio encouraging the public to show up and offer their support to the widower.

So many people are planning on attending his wife’s service, that the funeral home has had to change the location to a larger venue.

So many people have vowed to attend, the funeral director said, that the home said Wednesday night that it was moving the service to a larger venue. The chapel can hold about 250 worshippers, Johnson said, but they’re expecting “triple that.”

“I’ve been in this industry for 35 years. Never seen a funeral of this magnitude for a normal person, for not a high-profile citizen,” he added.

Although Antonio may have lost his wife and with her his last family member, he’s gained an entirely new family in the city of El Paso.

Tony Dickey, a chaplain for Disaster and Victim Services International, told CNN that crowds of strangers have approached Basco with words of support, or simply to offer a hug.

“He was basically just mumbling to himself that he had no one anymore, that she was everything he had. He didn’t know what he was going to do,” Dickey said about the day he met Basco. “He kept repeating that he was going to be so alone now.”Dickey said he told Basco, “No, they are your family. El Paso is now your family.”

The El Paso Man Who Lost His Wife In The Shooting Has A New Car After His Was Stolen After Her Funeral

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The El Paso Man Who Lost His Wife In The Shooting Has A New Car After His Was Stolen After Her Funeral

The El Paso community is still recovering from the violent and senseless shooting at a local Wal-Mart. The shooter confessed that he was only there to kill Mexicans. One victim, Margie Reckard, has left an indelible impression on the community as her husband, a survivor, Antonio Basco mourns the loss of his only family member. The El Paso community has shown their strength and love by the way they have honored Reckard and Basco during the darkest moment in his life.

Recently, Antonio Basco’s car was stolen just hours after his wife’s funeral adding insult to injury.

Credit: Vanessa Kondow / Facebook

Basco had been living in his car after the shooting to be close to the memorial, which included a cross for his wife. Just hours after he buried the last living family member he had, his car was stolen and wrecked. The horrific incident not only affected El Paso community members, but it also angered them.

People immediately flooded the post of his stolen car asking how they could help fix Basco’s situation.

Credit: Vanessa Kondow / Facebook

Basco invited anyone who wanted to attend his wife’s funeral. Thousands of people showed up to mourn the death of Margie Reckard and support a man who lost everything on Aug. 3. The car being stolen after was another blow for a man already mourning.

El Paso had rallied around Basco, even repairing and cleaning his car before it was stolen.

Credit: @bri_sacks / Twitter

Casa Ford Lincoln learned about Basco and his situation and gave his car a full-service treatment for free. The car was cleaned and repaired so that it could be the best it could be.

Casa Ford Lincoln decided to do one better after hearing that Basco’s car was stolen and wrecked by giving him a brand new Ford Escape.

Credit: Casa Ford Lincoln / Facebook

Casa Ford Lincoln hosted a ceremony just for Basco for him to receive his new car following the news that his was stolen and crashed. The crowd that gathered offered Basco love and support during and after the ceremony as some passed him notes and patted the man on the shoulder.

Ronnie Lowenfield, the general manager of Casa Lincoln Ford, spoke to the crowd and Basco offering words of condolences and love.

Credit: Casa Ford Lincoln / Facebook

“Tony, we just wanted to bring you here and, first off, offer our condolences,” Lowenfield said. “We can’t imagine the hell that you’ve been through in these last couple of weeks. We just want you to know that we love you and this is on behalf of all of us here at Casa and essentially all of us here in El Paso.”

The car is more than a car but a sign of El Paso’s love and support for its community members.

Credit: Casa Ford Lincoln / Facebook

“This is what we do here in this city, is care for each other and we’re very sorry for your loss,” Lowenfield continued. “We know that you’re a Ford guy and we know that you had a blue Escape. … Fortunately, we had one here so we are going to turn over the keys to you.”

People on Facebook flooded the comment section of the post with love and appreciation for the gesture from Casa Ford Lincoln.

Credit: Casa Ford Lincoln / Facebook

Casa Ford Lincoln customers celebrated the company and gushed about how thankful they are to do business with a company that follows their moral compass.

The El Paso community came out in support of Basco for his wife’s funeral and there are several videos and pictures that the love he received.

He claimed to not have a family but the city of El Paso proved to be the family he didn’t know he had. The outpouring of emotion and love from the El Paso community at large was a special moment in the city’s darkest hours.

El Paso is a strong community and the way they took care of Basco shows just how connected the community is.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“Amy just sent me this photo from El Paso. This is outside the funeral for Margie Reckard. She was killed at Walmart in El Paso on August 3rd. I met her husband Antonio at the memorial a few nights after that,” Beto O’Rourke wrote in an Instagram post. “The whole crowd at the memorial hugged him and comforted him, everyone giving him love and strength. Earlier this week the funeral home published a notice for Margie’s funeral that said that they didn’t expect anyone to come to the funeral because neither she nor Antonio had family in El Paso and that therefore the community was invited. Amy texted this with the photo from her funeral tonight: ‘Line wraps around the building multiple times. Been waiting 40 minutes and a long way to go. So beautiful.'”

Watch the video of Basco getting his new car below.

Posted by Casa Ford Lincoln on Monday, August 19, 2019

READ: El Paso Widower Who Invited Everyone To His Wife’s Funeral Donates Thousands Of Flowers To Honor All 22 Victims Of The El Paso Massacre

El Paso Widower Who Invited Everyone To His Wife’s Funeral Donates Thousands Of Flowers To Honor All 22 Victims Of The El Paso Massacre

Things That Matter

El Paso Widower Who Invited Everyone To His Wife’s Funeral Donates Thousands Of Flowers To Honor All 22 Victims Of The El Paso Massacre

@brie_san11 / Twitter

It’s been a little over two weeks since a terrorist upended lives when he attacked an El Paso Walmart, killing 22 people. Since then, there has been an outpouring of grief and pain but along with it a community banding together amid an outpouring of support. 

Over the weekend, that cycle of grief and support continued as many of the remaining victims were finally laid to rest. 

One El Paso funeral home director put together the ultimate send off for all 22 victims, organizing a caravan of hearses that convened at the makeshift memorial. 

Twenty-two hearses carried flowers to the makeshift memorial outside Walmart.

Perches, who organized the funeral for an El Paso widower who made headlines when he invited the entire city to his wife’s service, reached out to other area funeral homes to organize 22 hearses — one for each person killed — to deliver flowers to the makeshift memorial at Walmart, which has become a place to mourn and remember. One final procession.

On Sunday, the hearses left La Paz and followed a police escort for the five mile procession to the memorial.

There were so many flowers at La Paz that it took nearly an hour for about 100 volunteers to load the hearses.

The flowers were donated from the El Paso widower made famous when he invited the entire city to his wife’s funeral.

There were 22 hearses, representing the 22 victims of the shooting, that carried more than 1,000 floral arrangements sent by people around the world for Margie Reckard’s funeral service and burial — which were held on Friday night and Saturday.

Salvador Perches told local ABC affiliate KVIA, “I spoke with (Reckard’s) husband about the idea, and he felt this would be a fitting tribute to his wife and to the other victims,” Perches said. “Contact was then made to all of the other participating funeral homes and all of them agreed that this can serve as a gesture of unity and a sense of closure for all of the funerals that happened from this tragedy.”

People who saw the caravan pass by took to social media to share their emotions.

Cars stopped in both directions as the 22 hearses passed. People captured the moment on cell phones. Some held small American flags and removed their hats.

“I just got chills,” Sunset Funeral Homes Director Christopher Lujan told CNN in an interview. “Seeing 22 hearses is just unbelievable.”

The hearses unloaded the flowers at the makeshift memorial site outside the Walmart where the attack took place.

The makeshift memorial at Walmart sprang up a day after the shooting. People have gathered to pray and sing amid the candles, rosaries and white crosses with handwritten names of the dead.

Funeral directors invited mourners at the memorial site to unload the arrangements. They took the flowers and arranged them around the crosses. “Everybody wanted to participate in one way or another,” said Gomez, who runs the social services non-profit Operation H.O.P.E., in an interview with CNN.