MEDFORD — A week to the day after the Boston Marathon bombings ended the life of Krystle Marie Campbell, hundreds gathered Monday for her funeral Mass and burial, so many that the mourners could not all fit inside St. Joseph Church, so many that officials had to stop the flow of cars into Oak Grove Cemetery.
“Our citizenship is in heaven,” the Rev. Chip Hines, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Medford, said graveside, reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians.
Campbell, who grew up in Medford and had lived in Somerville and Arlington, in no small way became a citizen of the world in the days since the bombings killed three and injured more than 200. People across the country and in other nations mourned her death.
At Sunday’s wake, about 1,000 stood in lines that at times lasted an hour and a half, waiting patiently in chill winds as darkness fell. The crowd was just as expansive for Monday morning’s Mass, and about 200 people were still waiting in line when a funeral director announced the church was full.
“It was a beautiful outpouring of support for her family,” Hines said after the graveside service. “Medford really came through for her family, Medford and beyond. There were people who didn’t know Krystle and her family, and they just felt they had to be there as Americans, really, and offer condolences.”
‘There were people who didn’t know Krystle and her family, and they just felt they had to be there as Americans, really, and offer condolences.’
Between them, the wake and funeral drew officials and dignitaries including Governor Deval Patrick and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, US Senators Elizabeth Warren and Mo Cowan, US Representative Edward Markey, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, and Attorney General Martha Coakley, Mayor Michael J. McGlynn of Medford, and Mayor Joseph Curtatone of Somerville.
Many others came to Medford to help the Campbell family, or because Krystle Campbell had helped them.
For 21-year-old Julia Dziamba of Newton, who was among the mourners unable to get into the funeral Mass, the connection was personal.
Campbell worked for many years as a manager for Jasper White’s Summer Shack and had supervised Dziamba at the Cambridge and Boston Harbor Islands locations last summer.
“You know how everyone says they hate their boss? She was more of a friend to me,” Dziamba said. Campbell was “the best boss I’ve ever had. When she’d come into the room, it wasn’t like, ‘The boss is here.’ It was like my friend was in the room.”
Although Dziamba only spent one summer working for Campbell, “it felt like I knew her longer,” she said.
Campbell, she added, had “these big blue eyes that everybody talks about. And she always had a smile on her face. Even if she was mad, she’d smile through it.”
Teamsters Local 25 used Facebook and Twitter on the eve of the funeral to amass a couple of hundred union members in response to a threatened protest by the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Sean O’Brien, president and principal officer of Local 25. “The family deserves a peaceful grieving process that’s free from any coward-led group.”
A fringe religious organization, the Kansas church stages protests at high-profile funerals to draw attention to its views.
Monday’s events began to unfold before 8 a.m. when the Teamsters began gathering on High Street, parking two 18-wheelers emblazoned with the Local 25 name up the street from St. Joseph Church.
Although the Teamsters reached out to other union members, their preparations attracted many without union ties.
Derek Lofstrom of Winchester said he learned Sunday night through his Facebook feed that protesters might go to the funeral, though ultimately the picketing never materialized. Instead, he climbed a tree in a yard across from the church to help hang a large American flag.
“I felt it was kind of my civic duty to come out,” he said. “There’s no way in hell I wasn’t going to.”
At about 11 a.m., the scheduled start of the Mass, the funeral motorcade arrived, led by 23 police officers on motorcycles.
An honor detail of firefighters formed a corridor leading into the church doors, snapping to attention and saluting as pallbearers carried the casket inside. A solitary church bell tolled as the crowd fell silent.
Inside the church, McGlynn sat with other dignitaries, and afterward mused about how tragedy had brought so many together for the funeral.
“There’s a great irony here because it was very peaceful, full of love and support for the family,” McGlynn said. “At the same time, we were there because of a hateful, vicious act of murder. But the community and beyond the border of the community came together.”
After the burial, McGlynn went to a reception held by the Campbell family at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Medford and sat with Krystle Campbell’s friends. “Although they’ll be mourning and sad for a long period of time, they felt the support that everybody had shown,” said McGlynn.
A couple of days ago, before the wake and funeral and burial, Hines visited the Campbell family to offer pastoral support, but said he “told them right away that I don’t have any words that are going to make Krystle come back, and I wish I did,” he said.
Mourners instead were left with memories, such as the photo displays they all passed walking into Dello Russo funeral home Sunday night, chronicling Krystle Campbell’s life from when she was a baby through her childhood and teenage years.
In one photo she posed in a New England Patriots jersey with friends. In another, she was part of a wedding party photographed on a beach. Prominent in each picture were her blue eyes, spray of freckles, memorable smile, and ever-present friends.
“Krystle was one of those people everyone liked, everyone wanted to be around,” Hines said.
That was still apparent outside St. Joseph Church. Asked about the overflow crowd, Dziamba guessed that Campbell “would have loved it. She loved having a lot of people around her.”