DORAL, Fla. – Four-year-old Emma Guara and her 11-year-old sister Lucia “Lulu” Guara were buried together Tuesday afternoon in a white coffin adorned with pink and purple bows. Their mother, Anaely Rodriguez, 42, was buried in a matching white coffin. Rescuers had recovered their bodies June 30.
They were buried alongside Marcus Guara, 52, their beloved father and husband. The Guara family’s service was held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, a parish near the site of the June 24th collapse of a section of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside.
Rescuers recovered Marcus Guara’s body on June 26. That day the Archdiocese of Miami received a message from Pope Francis offering prayers “that Almighty God will grant eternal peace to those who have died, comfort to those who mourn their loss, and strength to all those affected.”
St. Joseph’s Rev. Juan J. Sosa said his parish has more than a dozen other members whose bodies have not been recovered. The official death toll of the building collapse was at 32 and 113 remained unaccounted for.
The grief-stricken relatives of three other victims of the building collapse attended funeral services Tuesday at another Catholic church in Miami-Dade County and at a synagogue in New York City. The sadness of the tragedy in Surfside also reached Brooklyn, Queens, and Sydney, Australia.
Tzvi Ainsworth, 68, and Itty Ainsworth, 66, former residents of Sydney, were expecting a granddaughter when they died in Surfside. She was born on the day search-and-rescue teams began to search for survivors of the collapse. Crews recovered the couple’s bodies on Monday.
On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of members of the Orthodox Jewish community lined up to pay their respects to the Ainsworths during a procession in New York City.
There was a service at Lubavitch World Headquarters in Brooklyn and interment was at the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens.
In Miami Beach, Jeanette Marie Nuñez, the lieutenant governor of Florida, and Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava attended the service for Hilda Noriega Tuesday morning. There was a procession with uniformed motormen.
The service for Noriega, the mother of North Bay Village Police Chief Carlos Noriega, was held at St. Patrick Catholic Church, a parish south of Surfside in Miami Beach. The matriarch of the Noriega family was 92 and an active member of her church.
Crews recovered her body out of the rubble on June 30. Her loved ones believe she left them a spiritual message of hope. While exploring the area where a section of the 12-story building turned into a mountain of pancaked concrete, her son, Carlos Noriega, and grandson, Mike Noriega, recovered a birthday card. She had recently received it from members of her prayer group.