Memorial Service Held for Slain Family

Memorial service at family ranch was standing room only

By Amanda Guerra
|  Friday, Dec 30, 2011  |  Updated 7:04 PM CDT
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Hundreds gathered to remember six family members killed on Christmas Day.

Amanda Guerra

Hundreds gathered to remember six family members killed on Christmas Day.

At a family ranch in Lancaster, hundreds gathered to say one final goodbye to the six people who were gunned down while opening presents on Christmas morning.

Investigators said Azizolah "Bob" Yazdanpanah was dressed as Santa Claus when he shot and killed his estranged wife, their two children, his brother-in-law and sister-in-law and his niece inside a Grapevine apartment.

Fatemah "Nasrin" Rahmati, 55; her daughter, Nargis "Nona" Yazdanpanah, 19; and her son, Ali Yazdanpanah, 14; Rahmati's sister, Zohreh Rahmati, 58; her husband, Mohamad Hossein Zarei, 59; and their daughter, Sahra Fatemah Zarei, 22; were killed.

It was standing room only inside the building were the memorial was held.

Even before the service began, friends and family members could be seen wiping away tears and shaking their heads in disbelief.

One by one people stood at the podium to share memories of the victims.

“Life is too short and we only have each other,” one family member.

Another spoke about Sahra Zarei. 

“I’m sorry my daughter won’t get to be the recipient of your love. But trust me, she will know you. She will know all of you. I’m happy I got to hug and kiss you on Christmas Eve and insisting on taking pictures of all of us like you always do I’ll miss to see the photos you would normally give to us. I love you, Sahra.”

Many said it was simply a moment to say ‘I love you’ and ‘thank you.’

“We wonder if we ever thanked you enough for the sacrifices you made,” one woman said. “To let us have the very best for the simple things. Like laughter, smiles and times we shared. If we forgot to show our gratitude for all these things you did, we’re thanking you now and we are hoping you knew all along how much you meant to us.”

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