Nine days after troubled country singer Mindy McCready died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at her lakefront home in Heber Springs, Ark., her family held her funeral in her hometown of Ft. Myers, Fla.
About 400 mourners filled the sanctuary of Crossroads Baptist Church. A white hearse, escorted by two police cars, delivered the singer’s wooden casket to the service.
A large portrait of McCready graced the stage, and her casket was adorned with white roses. As McCready’s songs were played, photos from her life were displayed on two large video screens on either side of the sanctuary.
The pictures included a glamorous shot of her and her onetime fiancé Dean Cain. Among the songs were “I’m Still Here” and “Ten Thousand Angels.”
Attendees, besides being greeted with a handshake form McCready’s mother, Gayle Inge, were presented with a program that included a color photo of McCready.
Through tears during the service, Inge told the mourners. “Mindy adored her two children. She wanted them to know that. Through much agony and pain, she went to heaven. She is no longer sick. She is healed. Thank you for all who are here. Please pray for those boys. No matter what, she will always be my little girl, sitting in her car seat, singing into a hairbrush. The world was her stage.”
Stepfather Michael Inge played his guitar and sang Bobby Helms’s “You Are My Special Angel.” Pallbearers included McCready’s three brothers – Timothy, Joshua and Skyler – along with some of her cousins.
Gayle Inge, who arranged what was called “A Celebration of Life,” told PEOPLE in a statement: “Our family is devastated by the loss of our beautiful and talented daughter. Her life, no matter how brief, touched many, and she will forever be our special angel.”
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Mindy McCready Children’s Trust, c/o John Ammons, Edison National Bank, 13000 S. Cleveland Ave., Ft. Myers, FL 33907.
McCready, who was 37, will be buried in Ft. Myers. A second memorial service for her professional colleagues to attend is to take place in Nashville in early March.