LEOMINSTER, Mass. (AP) — Residents of a Massachusetts city turned out in force Tuesday for the funeral of a U.S. Marine officer who died last month during a NATO training exercise in Norway and was known for his infectious smile and commitment to serve.
Capt. Ross Reynolds’ casket was transported from Leominster City Hall to St. Cecilia’s Church by a horse-drawn carriage and escorted by a contingent of Marines and city Boy Scouts.
Hundreds of residents carrying U.S. flags lined the streets and gathered outside the church where the private funeral was held.
Reynolds’ family, including his wife of about two months, appreciated the support, Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella said.
“As tough as it was, I think they really wanted to make sure this was respectful, dignified and a celebration of life,” he said.
The funeral service was followed by a private burial at the Massachusetts Memorial Veterans’ Cemetery in Winchendon.
“Ross is fondly remembered for his infectious smile, that lit up every room he walked into,” his family said in his obituary.
Reynolds, 27, was an Osprey pilot and one of four Marines killed when their aircraft crashed March 18 during a NATO drill in a Norwegian town in the Arctic Circle.
The others who died were Capt. Matthew Tomkiewicz, of Fort Wayne, Indiana.; Gunnery Sgt. James Speedy, of Cambridge, Ohio; and Cpl. Jacob Moore, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation, but Norwegian police reported bad weather in the area. Officials in Norway said the MV-22B Osprey crashed in Graetaedalen in Beiarn, south of Bodoe.
The men were assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.
Reynolds is survived by his wife, parents and a sister.