Leawood churchgoers fill funeral for veteran who passed with no known family

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LEAWOOD, Kan. -- An 80-year-old veteran who died without any known family could have made for an empty funeral. Instead, his service filled a Leawood church with more than one thousand people.

Father Richard Storey was contacted by Porter Funeral Home that David St. John left a note stating he wanted a Catholic Mass but had no next of kin. Storey spread the word during Sunday services and by the time the Mass started, it was standing room only at Cure’ of Ars Catholic Church in Leawood.

"It’s very important that somebody come and honor these veterans that fought so hard for our freedom this does not come free as of today we pray freely because of what they did for us in the past," Fr. Richard Storey said.

"This veteran, he thought he had no friends and nobody would show up to his funeral, but we’re here to celebrate his life because he sacrificed for our country," said Maryanne Sausz, who attended the funeral.

The Patriot Guard escorted the remains to Leavenworth.

Watch FOX 4’s Pay It Forward on Monday as the Patriot Guard is honored for their work.

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