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PARKLAND (CBSMiami) — As a bagpiper played a mournful tune, 49-year-old Chris Hixon was carried by Naval pallbearers in dress white uniforms to the South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth Wednesday.
The husband and father, and Navy Reserve member who served a tour of duty in Iraq, was remembered most for the young lives he shaped over his years as a coach and teacher.
“He was a friend, neighbor, my mentor, and we’re going to miss him,“ said a weeping Rebecca Allshouse, a former student of Hixon’s.
The athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was among 17 people murdered at the school Wednesday Feb. 14.
Earlier, a full house at Nativity Catholic Church in Hollywood memorialized Hixon as being a selfless person, generous to a fault.
“A great veteran, somebody that fought for our country, somebody that loved his wife very much and somebody who was a wonderful father to two beautiful children,“ said family friend Lynn Henderson.
While others were running from unspeakable danger at the school, Hixon was running at it.
“An action plan. He just went right in,“ said Greg Richardson, the athletic trainer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. “He was watching the cameras and just jumped in his golf cart and went right to the scene.”
At the cemetery there was a 21 gun salute for Hixon, a hero killed in a moment of horrible urban warfare.
“We just don’t understand why, the senselessness of it, and we just hope something can come go out of it, and things are going to change and nobody has to go through this anymore,“ said the former student Allshouse,” as she cried.
A second viewing for Aaron Feis, security guard and assistant football coach will also take place Wednesday night from 5pm – 9pm at Church by the Glades, 400 Lakeview Drive in Coral Springs.
His funeral will take place Thursday at 11am at the same church.
Feis is also being hailed a hero for throwing himself in front of students to protect them from oncoming bullets.
There is a service for student Nicholas Dworet on Wednesday at 5pm at the Parkland Golf and Country Club, 10001 Old Club Road in Parkland.
Dworet was 17 and captain of the school’s swim team. According to his obituary, Dworet won first-place honors in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle at the 2017 Broward County Athletic Association swimming and diving championships. “He dreamed of making the Olympic swim team,” the Dworet family said in a statement. “He believed he could accomplish anything as long as he tried his best.” Dworet, one of the top sprint freestyle swimmers in Florida, recently signed a swimming scholarship to the University of Indianapolis.
On Thursday, there will be a Celebration of Life for student Cara Loughran from 5p-9p at Kraeer Funeral Home, 1655 N. University Drive, Coral Springs.
Cara, 14, a freshman, “was an excellent student” who loved the beach and her younger cousins, her aunt, Lindsay Fontana, wrote on Facebook.
Also on Thursday, visitation for Helena Ramsey will take place from 5pm- 9pm at Church by the Glades, 400 Lakeview Drive in Coral Springs.
Ramsey’s funeral service is Friday at 1pm at the same church.
Helena was 17 and would have started college next year. Her family member, in a lengthy Facebook post, called her a “smart, kind hearted and thoughtful person.”