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Community says goodbye to Amy Wilcox

COAL GROVE — Less than two months ago, the community took Amy Wilcox into its collective heart. After a tragedy at her home in which she was badly burned, people who didn’t even know the Perry Township woman prayed for her, rooted for her, worried about her. Friday, they said goodbye to her.

More than 300 people attended the young mother’s funeral in the Dawson-Bryant High School gymnasium, a change of venue noted by the Rev. David Lambert, pastor of Community Missionary Baptist Church, where Amy Wilcox attended.

“There was not enough room in our church, we had to have her funeral here,” Lambert told those who attended her funeral. “That’s quite a testimony to a life.”

In his invocation, Lambert thanked God “for the spirit that draws us together when we’re hurting the most” and asked God to provide “a peace that passes all understanding” in the days to come as those who loved Amy Wilcox face life without her.

Lambert and others recalled Amy Wilcox as an ever-smiling, warm-hearted woman who loved her family, loved her church and exemplified the Jesus Christ she loved through the life she lived.

“Our Amy,” Lambert said, “is His Amy.”

That was the same sentiment expressed by Donna Blair, Wilcox’s friend, who recalled a young woman known for her love of children and her kind disposition.

“She never had anything bad to say about anyone,” Blair said.

Lambert said there were probably two groups of people who attended Wilcox’s funeral: people who don’t know how to fill the void in their life caused by her passing and those who can’t believe what happened and want the family to know how sorry there are.

Lambert reminded mourners that everything in life happens on “God’s timing, not our timing” and that Wilcox ran the race set for her by a God who designed her life and everyone else’s. Lambert said for those who know Christ, “our rewards are waiting for us. Amy has hers.”

Since the late April incident at her home in which Wilcox was allegedly attacked by her estranged husband, Lawrence Countians have found ways to rally around the woman, whether they knew her or not, perhaps in the realization if violence could happen to this mother, sister and daughter, it could happen to anyone’s mother, sister or daughter.

Lawrence County Commissioner Doug Malone frequently mentioned her while giving the invocation at Lawrence County Commission meetings and he requested others pray for her as well.

Hundreds showed up for fundraisers to benefit her and her family. One fundraiser at the Dawson-Bryant High School Cafetorium May 16 was organized by several groups and churches and drew more than 200 donated items that were auctioned off.

An Ashland, Ky., rock group performed at a benefit concert for Wilcox even though band members said they didn’t know her and had not heard about the incident when it occurred because the band was out of town.

Some comments and well wishes posted on The Tribune Web site by people who did not know Amy began with, “I don’t know this family directly, but…” or “Though I did not know her…”