Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Schenecker children remembered in father's hometown in Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas — Again, the strong and stoic Army colonel stood before a mass of mourners.

He held it together as muffled cries and sniffles leaked out from the crowd. He spoke not of death, crime or anger, but life.


"As I mourn the loss of my two children, my deeply beloved children, I'm comforted that they have been welcomed on the other side," said Col. Parker Schenecker at the funeral service for his two children, Beau and Calyx, ages 13 and 16.

For a few seconds, Schenecker found a smile.

"I know my children were loved," he said. "They knew they were loved."

Tuesday afternoon's funeral service at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Schenecker's hometown drew a crowd of hundreds to grieve the teens who were found dead at their Tampa Palms North home on Jan. 28.

Tampa police say their mother, Julie Powers Schenecker, 50, admitted to shooting and killing them in a plan she referred to in a note as a "massacre."

She remains behind bars without bail on two first-degree murder charges, awaiting trial.

At a memorial service last week in Temple Terrace, a slew of classmates and teachers spoke in depth about Calyx and Beau. Tuesday, only Schenecker and a pastor addressed the crowd.

There were no caskets in the church; the teenagers had been buried at a private ceremony in Fort Worth earlier that day.

The same poignantly short photo slideshow was shown at both services — baby Beau on the beach, Calyx in a fairy costume, school yearbook photos and action shots from Calyx's track meets and Beau's soccer games.

The Rev. Ted Kitchens said that though it's impossible to understand how God could allow a tragic end to such brief lives, everything — good and bad — is part of a grand plan.

Calyx and Beau are not hurting, Kitchens said. They are looking over their shoulders, and "they see us coming."

Kitchens remembered Calyx and Beau as leaders.

Calyx recently helped organize a fundraiser relay for the American Cancer Society that netted more than $100,000. Beau was known for his energy and his sensitivity toward others.

"What could have been," the pastor said, "is remarkable."

In a statement released after the service, Schenecker vowed to stay involved in activities and causes that were important to his kids. He encouraged people to give to the Calyx and Beau Schenecker Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, which will be used to improve the lives of others.

But it was Schenecker's words during the service that would linger after the church emptied.

"Hug your children every chance you get," he urged, his voice cracking. "Draw your loved ones closer to you than you ever have before, so you may give love and feel love.

"And, if I may be so bold, if this grieving dad can ask you one thing, remember Calyx and Beau Schenecker and rejoice for having known them."

With that, he bit his lip and returned to his seat.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at or (813) 661-2442.

To contribute

Donate to the Calyx and Beau Schenecker Memorial Fund by visiting the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay at 550 N Reo St., Suite 301, or by calling (813) 282-1975.

Schenecker children remembered in father's hometown in Texas 02/08/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 12:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]