Man Who Lost the 'Love of His Life' in El Paso Shooting Stunned When over 3000 Turn up to Pay Respects at Wife's Funeral

Man Who Lost the 'Love of His Life' in El Paso Shooting Stunned When over 3000 Turn up to Pay Respects at Wife's Funeral

This is a story of how, when one person goes through tragedy, there are a shocking number of people who are willing to support you through it.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 20, 2019. It has since been updated.

August 3, 2019 was a day that shook the city of El Paso, Texas, when mindless violence tore loved ones away. It was something that no one would be able to forget - not the ones who managed to escape by a hair and not the ones who lost their families and friends to the shooting. And amongst those who had to lay their loved ones to rest was a man who lost the only family he had to the devastating incident - his wife of 22 years.


On August 17, a Saturday morning, Antonio Basco said his final goodbye to his beloved Margie Reckard, 63, who had been working at the Walmart where the gunman killed 22 people. And though he invited the community to attend her funeral because he had no other family, he expected a near-empty church.



But to his utter shock, he found people queuing to get into the church to attend the service, reported the BBC, with the line going around the church and along another road.



The size of the crowd was so enormous that the funeral company had to shift the entire service to a larger facility, according to Today


Unbeknownst to him at the time, his post through Perches Funeral Home had gone viral with the caption, “Let’s show him & his Wife some El Paso Love," reported the NY Daily News. With 14,000 shares at the time of publication, it was a heartwarming moment to see.



As he walked in, Antonio said, "This is incredible." The turnout was a stunning 700 people who traveled from all across the United States after hearing his story reported BBC. Additionally, there were more than 3,000 people who paid their respects Friday night at a visitation for Reckard in El Paso, according to the Perches Funeral Homes.



"It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," he said outside the cemetery early Saturday, speaking about all who have supported him to ABC News. "I love El Paso and [I'm] glad to be your family. Thank you very much," he said. "I got the world's largest family."



And it truly was a special moment as for 22 years, the couple had been together. “When I met her she was an angel and she still is,” Antonio told KFOX-TV, reported NY Daily News.



“I was supposed to be the strong one, but I found out I’m the weak one, and she’s going to be missed a lot.”


“I mean you didn’t even have to be there to talk to her. You could just look at how she was, how she acted, how she presented herself. She was an awesome lady,” he told the station. “We were gonna live together and die together,” he said. “That was our plan.”


As for those who attended the funeral, they too shared their motivation for their participation. Hala Hijazi, who traveled from San Francisco after reading his story told BBC, "It pierced into my heart and soul and made me book a flight to El Paso. We need to show when America is in pain, we are all in pain."


Another stranger, Jordan Ballard, who is from Los Angeles, too traveled the distance to show his support. "His story moved me," Jordan told El Paso ABC affiliate KVIA.


The funeral home director handling the service, Harrison B Johnson, also made the decision to cover the full cost of the funeral. He said to BBC, "We have had a tremendous outpouring of support after we shared the post. It is our privilege to honor and serve the community to try and make that burden lighter after a tragedy that has devastated our community. We just wanted to do our part to help in some small way."