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Candlelight vigil in Monticello honors the four people lost in the explosion of a house



Monticello, Arkansas – The residents of Monticello have experienced a difficult week as they bid farewell to four of their own.

Elizabeth and Kenneth Bragg, along with their parents Don and Hope Bragg, perished in a Michigan home explosion last week.

A candlelight vigil was conducted in their honor on Sunday at the Monticello High School stadium, a location that the family is intimately familiar with.

This was done to help the one child who did survive as well as to grieve for the family members who had passed away.

Both their grandfather and son Stephen, a student at Monticello High School, are now recovering from the incident. On Sunday, people remembered their legacy of generosity.

According to Scott Kuttenkuler, a family friend, the Braggs were actively engaged in their neighborhood.

“They’re being gone leaves a significant hole in a lot of our lives,” Kuttenkuler said.

He claims they would play in the band, 4-H, Boy Scouts, and throw yearly Super Bowl parties.

“And to be able to say our hearts go out to you, and we love you, and just to be able to support them, as they’ve got to be able to figure out what the future holds for him,” Kuttenkuler said.

He claims that the attendance at the event demonstrated their interest.

“This wasn’t just oh ‘I feel sorry’ this was somebody I knew, this was somebody that had welcomed me into their home, I want to go be there to support,” Kuttenkuler said.

Candles were held while people laughed, wept, and told tales.

Stephanie Bragg grew up with Maggie Fakouri.

“We’re a small town so everyone knows everyone and just to see us all come together for such a devastating accident, it’s a devastating thing to happen, and I’m glad everybody came out,” Fakouri said.

According to Fakouri, the entire school is wishing for a quick recovery because they all miss him in class.

“He’s in my AP classes with me and it’s just an empty seat, and in English he talks a lot in the class,” Fakouri said.

This weekend’s vigil served as a chance for the community to join together in support of Stephen, as well as a way to remember his family. This way, Stephen will always know that his community is there for him, just as his family has been for the community.

“So, they connected with a bunch of people all across the area, and would welcome them in, even though they themselves were just from far away,” Kuttenkuler said. “They became friends, they became a ‘framily’ with everyone.”


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