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Community Remembers Iron River Couple; Family Shares Memories

Updated: 12/15/2013 10:20 PM
Created: 12/15/2013 4:18 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

"They were the greatest people you could ever meet," Jim Crain said. "They were loving, caring. They would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it."

That's how Jim Crain remembers his grandparents. He was up from Chicago with his family for a potluck in Iron River Sunday.

"This is not a sad occasion; this is a celebration of life," Jim Crain said.

A couple hundred people gathered to remember Jim Sr. and Eunice "Cricket" Crain. Many people did not wear black, but green and yellow. The Crains were big Packers fans.

Jim Crain said he was happy with the big turnout.

"It feels great," Jim Crain said. "It shows how much they were really loved."

"Very straight forward people, loving," family friend Randy Howe said. "(They) let you know if you're screwing up; let you know if you're doing good."

When Howe heard the couple was allegedly killed by their son, James Crain Jr., he said he couldn't believe it.

"My heart felt heavy," Howe said. "I just felt weak...I couldn't speak, just shaking."

Also in disbelief, The Crain's grandchild, Jim Crain, who is also the suspect's son.

"It was complete shock," Jim Crain said. "I knew my dad was not right, but I never expected anything like this. It's crazy."

Jim Crain said he hoped the community would remember his grandparents for who they were instead of how they died. In an effort to do that, the community shared stories at the potluck and listened to a musician play some of the Crain's favorite songs.

"It shows how we are a close community and how we'll always get together for each other," Howe said. "Unfortunately, tragedy is when we really come together the best."

Funeral plans are set for this coming spring or summer. Jim Crain and Howe wanted to thank the community for the help putting on the potluck.

The suspect faces murder charges. As of Friday, he is still in an induced coma.

Rod Abbas

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