Funeral held for Leominster Marine killed during NATO training exercise

LEOMINSTER, Mass. — Family, friends, strangers, and fellow Marines said a final goodbye to Captain Ross Reynolds Tuesday morning. A funeral mass took place at 11:00 a.m. at St. Cecilia’s Church.

His funeral mass was private, but the public came out in a strong show of support for a heartfelt goodbye to a life taken to soon.

On Monday, hundreds of people waited hours in a line that wrapped around Leominster City Hall for Reynolds’ wake, including Governor Charlie Baker.

“This is what Leominster is – this is not just a city, it’s a town. It’s community and when something like this happens for one person, they show up,” said Leominster resident Mary Cafarella.

Marine Captain Ross Reynolds was killed last month during a NATO training exercise in Norway. He was just 27-years-old.

Captain Reynolds was a graduate of Leominster High School and Worcester State University. He was just married in February. Friends who attended mass say Captain Ross’ widow spoke at the funeral. “They had the church illuminated in red, white and blue on the inside, so that was really touching and phenomenal. And the speeches were very heartfelt, so it was a great tribute to him and he would’ve love it,” said Tiffany Thibodeau, a high school classmate of Capt. Reynolds.

“He was a very proud Marine. That’s what I remember,” said Jolene Constant of Leominster. Suzan Couch of Winchendon took a time from work to watch the procession. “When tragedy strikes they wrap their arms around you and take you in you know they’re proud people and they just want to come out and show their support for the family his wife and everybody that it touches,” she said.

Leominster’s Mayor, Dean Mazzarella, said the family was thankful to see all the support.

“As tough as it was, I think they really wanted to make sure this was respectful, dignified and a celebration of life. And if the videos inside and the pictures were very much about somebody whose life should be celebrated and it was touching and emotional lots of pride but definitely a celebration of life,” he said.

Following mass, Captain Reynolds’ casket was placed in a hearse. It was then escorted to the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon where a private burial with full military honors was held.

Captain Reynolds is survived by his widow, Lana, and his parents, sister and brother-in-law.

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