Houston, Texas: Hundreds of people gathered in South Houston this morning to say goodbye to Maleah Davis, the young girl with an “infectious smile” who won’t soon be forgotten by the community.
Maleah’s obituary featured a heartwarming message that was written as though it came from the four-yr-previous herself.
The message stated partially, “I enjoyed my life and I need to thank everyone who made me snigger, smile and love on you.”
Maleah’s obituary stuck to the theme of her “My Little Pony” casket, and featured the 4-yr-previous holding a colorful rose, and surrounded by her favorite characters.
Maleah’s death has been felt across Houston and the nation.
“When they would show her picture on the news, I just wanted to go up and give her a hug,” said Gracie McGhee, a staff member at The Crossing Community Church, where Saturday’s service was held.
McGhee was one of more than 500 invited guests that attended the private funeral.
“She had a beautiful, wonderful sendoff,” said McGhee. “You would have thought that Maleah was an elderly lady for all of the wonderful things that was said about her.”
McGhee wore Maleah’s favorite color, pink, including a special wristband for invitees that had Maleah’s name on one side and ‘Fly High Angel’ on the other.
Like Maleah’s custom-made casket and colorful program, those inside the church call the tribute to her life uplifting.
“This was not a sad funeral,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner, who spoke at the service.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said he highlighted the ways the 4-year-old, who inspired her own day, a march at city hall, and memorials in Houston and Arkansas, has united a city.
Maleah Davis, the gap-toothed child who loved pink and the “My Little Pony” character Rainbow Dash, will finally be laid to rest after a short life that ended sometime before her remains were found in Arkansas on May 31.
She had been reported missing on May 4.
“In many ways, she’s representative of so many of our children,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters on Friday, as he confirmed his plans to attend and speak at Davis’ private funeral.
“I think what happened to Maleah is a reminder that if we don’t do our part, if we are not responsible, we can fail our children — whether you’re a parent, whether you’re a family member, whether you’re the system, we all have a role to play,” Turner said.
Memorial services have been held in Houston and Arkansas, where the child’s body was found.
Maleah’s mother’s ex-fiancé, Derion Vence, was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence, said police.
More charges are possible, authorities said.
Davis will be buried in a rainbow-filled “My Little Pony”-themed casket. Mourners are expected to wear pink in honor of the child’s favorite color.