CALGARY – The family of three sisters killed in a central Alberta farming tragedy are attending a funeral for the girls in Red Deer on Friday.
Parents of sisters killed in Alberta farm tragedy speak about their loss
Bott family thanks Albertans for their support after losing three daughters
3 young sisters killed in farming incident in central Alberta
“On behalf of Roger, Bonita and Caleb, as well as the Bott and Pattison families, we thank you for coming today to honour and to celebrate the young, beautiful lives of these three girls–Catie, Jana and Dara–who were taken from us so early in their lives,” said officiating pastor Brian Allan.
Sisters Catie, 13, Dara, 11, and Jana, 11, were playing on a truck loaded with canola at a rural property near Withrow, Alta. on Oct. 13 when they were buried by the seed.
Parents Roger and Bonita Bott spoke publicly about their loss at the Withrow Gospel Mission on Wednesday, saying they’ve been humbled and encouraged by the support they’ve received from the community.
READ MORE: ‘We’ll see them again,’ Bott family says of 3 daughters killed on Alberta farm
The celebration of life took place at the CrossRoads Church in Red Deer Friday afternoon.
The funeral featured congregational singing, and a song called Humble, performed by Jessica Crane, one of the girls’ cousins.
“Catie and I, we wanted to write a song,” said Crane. “I loved Catie’s heart. She loved the parable of the sowers, the different kinds of soil…She wrote most of the concept and then I put the music to it.”
Amanda Bjorge, another cousin, explained family members were wearing matching crocheted headbands in memory of the girls.
“Each colour represents one of the girls,” said Bjorge. “Green was Catie’s favourite colour, purple was Jana’s and blue was Dara’s.”
The five cousins then took turns describing Catie, Jana and Dara.
Cousin Brenda Church remembered Catie as having a “vibrant personality and insane amount of energy.”
“Her enthusiastic nature brought a smile to everyone’s face wherever she went,” said Church.
Cousin Crystal Erikson spoke of Jana as a girl with “maturity beyond her years.”
“Her passions for games, crafts, sewing and farm animals, will never be forgotten. Everywhere we look, there are constant reminders of all the things that Jana poured her heart into.”
Jessica Crane spoke of her cousin, Dara, as embracing her individuality.
“Of all the girls, she was the tomboy. She loved to catch insects, play in the dirt, tear up the yard on the quad, and give any boy a run for their money.”
But as well as celebrating their differences, the sisters were remembered as a team.
“Whatever they did, they did together,” said Stephanie Crane. “Whether that was a family work project, family get-together or any kind of recreational activity, the ‘Bott-mobile’ was full of energetic and life-loving kids.”
The young cousins also emphasized their faith, and the role that played in the girls’ lives.
“The most memorable and important aspects of these three girls was their faith,” said Bjorge. “In every aspect of their lives, their relationship with Jesus Christ was evident. Even at an early age, when they could barely draw, each of the three would create illegible pieces of art with a specific person in mind.”
WATCH BELOW: The Bott family speaks for first time the since tragic death of their three daughters