Nearly 500 people filled the Dutch Reformed Church in Humansdorp yesterday for a memorial service for Madre Johnston, 33, who was eight months’ pregnant, husband Tony, 34, and their son Michael.
They all died in the raging forest fires while fleeing for safety from their Sedgefield smallholding last week.
Compounding the tragedy was that they died on Michael’s third birthday.
Tony’s cousin, Lunice Johnston, said a private cremation service was planned in George.
“This is the same church where Tony and Madre were married and it is where little Michael’s christening was held so the family really have a longstanding relationship with the church,” she said.
“It was a beautiful service and you could tell from the number of people there just how many lives they had touched.”
Johnston said among those attending were friends and family from along the Garden Route and members of the mountaineering club that Tony and Madre had joined.
“This has been really tragic and has devastated the family but the messages from everyone, from near and from abroad, have made the family stronger. We have been clinging to the happy memories and looking at old photographs,” she said.