Shooting in Highland Park killed 7, injured at least 39
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Friends, neighbors and dignitaries paid their respects Saturday to the family of Eduardo Uvaldo, one of the seven people who were killed in the attack on a July Fourth parade near Chicago.
Uvaldo, who would have turned 70 on Friday, was a native of Mexico who first moved to the United States when he was 15. In an obituary, he was remembered for his love of his large family - he was survived by his wife, Maria, four daughters, four siblings, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"He was funny, charming, handsome, caring, and most importantly loving," his obituary read. "His presence brought happiness to each family member."
Outside the visitation at The Memorial Chapel of Waukegan, attendee Lilia Cervantes told reporters that she had known Uvaldo for 20 years and had worked with him for 11 years.
"It's a very difficult time for family and co-workers," she said in Spanish. "He was very kind."
Among those who paid their respects Saturday were Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Lieutenant Gov. Juliana Stratton, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and Highland Park's police chief, Lou Jogmen.
Uvaldo died Wednesday at an Evanston hospital from wounds suffered during the attack on the parade.
Separate funerals were held Friday for three of the other victims - 63-year-old Jacquelyn Sundheim, 88-year-old Stephen Straus and 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, who, like Uvaldo, was from Waukegan, a city north of Highland Park along the Lake Michigan coast.
Services for 63-year-old Jacquelyn Lovi Sundheim were held at North Shore Congregation Israel, located at 1185 Sheridan Road in Glencoe.
"Today, we will grieve together, and we will mourn together. But we will also be grateful for having shared in Jacki's life with her," said Wendi Geffen, senior rabbi at North Shore Congregation Israel. "She loved to have a great time. She gave great hugs. She had an amazing smile; she was fiercely protective and she was nobody's pushover."
Sundheim was a former school teacher and a dedicated congregant and worker at her synagogue.
"Jacki's life was not long enough. There is an incalculable list of all the should have beens. We'll never be able to tally it. Her life was beautiful," Geffen said.
Services for 88-year-old Stephen Straus took place at Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, located at 303 Dodge Ave. in Evanston.
"He was just an incredibly, I mean unusually sweet and kind person. Always curious about what you were up to and just loved to share in who you were and what you did," his son Jonathan Straus said. "Every time you saw him, no matter what was happening in his day, he always had this warm smile, and always greeted you warmly and was always truly, truly just to his core a sweet, generous person."
Straus was a beloved grandfather. His family said he could often be found enjoying the Art Institute. He loved life and was active, taking the Metra downtown for work or riding his bike.
His family said he was always interested in others first.
Jonathan Straus said he knows his dad had a few more good years still left in him.
Funeral services for 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza were held at Iglesia Emanuel, located at 1300 W 10th St. in Waukegan.
Toledo-Zaragoza was retired and living in Mexico. He was in the area visiting family when he was killed.
He was sitting in his wheelchair between his son and nephew when he was shot multiple times.
His son and a family friend were also shot, but survived.
Toledo-Zaragoza's body will be taken to his hometown in Mexico for his final resting place.
He leaves behind his children, grandchildren, and, his family said, many close friends.
One of them is a woman who works at a Highland Park Starbucks, who said she came to give her support to her friends, who are grandchildren of Toledo.
This is the second victim's funeral Jaleeza Moncivaiz has attended, and said, despite not marching in the parade with her daughters like she planned, she knew three people who were shot and killed.
Moncivaiz said her journey to support the victims, which includes Starbucks donating coffee to the Toledo-Zaragoza family, is just a small effort she wanted to provide.
"It's actually a very traumatic and unthought of experience," she said. "It's not easy to go through what we have gone through and to keep supplying for the community. That's what keeps me going."
Alan Castillo was with Toledo-Zaragoza at the parade. He was shot in the back when the gunfire erupted.
"I hit the floor. I'm like, 'I got hit, I got hit.' That's what I was yelling at my girlfriend," Castillo said. "I feel very lucky and unlucky to be going through this."
Meanwhile, memorials continue to grow near the shooting scene as the community is pulling together to help each other heal.
A large crowd gathered Thursday night for a moving candlelight vigil in Sunset Park.
"This is a different type of grief; this is a traumatic grief that most people never experience," said Linda Davis, who witnessed the shooting Monday.
"It's just devastating to see my community have to go through this pain," said Jordana Hozman, vigil co-organizer and member of North Shore March for our Lives.
Residents shared stories of being at the parade when gunshots rang out on July Fourth, and they ran for their lives.
Residents and businesses in Highland Park are trying to rally together and support one another as much as they can.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.