February 20, 2013

Family mourns Bath explosion victim; lawsuit possible

By Matt Byrne mbyrne@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Mikey Epperson, 16, of New London, Conn., composes himself at a memorial service for his grandmother, Dale Fussell, at the United Church of Christ on Congress Avenue in Bath Tuesday, February 19, 2013. Fussell was killed Tuesday, Feb. 12, in a propane explosion at her Bluff Road duplex.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

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A family photo of Dale Fussell, 64, taken around 2010.

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"I'm fairly confident that she had problems with her heating unit on various occasions," Garmey said.

At Tuesday's memorial service, people stood in the doorways and aisles of the church to listen to others talk about Fussell, who loved listening to Motown artists and spoke often of her large extended family.

Members of Fussell's family, who came from as far away as Atlanta to attend the ceremony, sat at three tables at the front of the hall. Fussell's brother, Robert "Barry" Price, at times held his head in his hands, before taking his turn to speak.

"Thank you everybody for your love and support to open your homes, your hearts, to this family," said Price, who grew up in Bath. "I've never been so proud to come back as I have today."

Even in the midst of sadness, there were moments of levity, too.

Friends from the church's soup kitchen, called the Neighborhood Cafe, recalled Fussell's unvarnished honesty, her penchant for unexpectedly foul language, and the fun they had thinking up silly names for her kitten, which she eventually named Pickles, Silva said.

Fussell's grandson Terrance Epperson joked that his grandmother would seemingly call him every other relative's name but his.

"She'd call me 'Michael' 18 million times before she called me 'Terrance,'" he said, to a laugh.

Another grandson, Mikey Epperson, 16, of New London, Conn., struggled to contain his emotions, telling of the summer he spent with Fussell and of helping her make dinner. He recalled receiving a pair of socks she had sewn for him.

When he learned of her death, he said he stayed up all night looking at pictures of his grandmother.

"She's not gone," Mikey Epperson said. "She's still here. She's in my heart."

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

mbyrne@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

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What remains of the duplex at 31-29 Bluff road, following a suspected propane gas explosion on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. The explosion claimed the life of 64-year-old Dale Fussell.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer:

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Mikey Epperson, 16, of New London, Conn., at left, is comforted by Sondra Wilson of Virginia, at right, before the start of a memorial service for Epperson's grandmother and Wilson's mother, Dale Fussell, 64, at the United Church of Christ on Congress Avenue in Bath Tuesday, February 19, 2013. Fussell was killed Tuesday, Feb. 12, in a propane explosion at her Bluff Road duplex.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

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The scene shortly after a propane explosion leveled the duplex at 31-29 Bluff Road.

Photo by Debra Prindall

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Family members and community members gathered at the United Church of Christ on Congress Avenue in Bath on Tuesday to honor Dale Fussell, 64, of Bath, who was killed on Feb. 12 in a propane explosion at her Bluff Road duplex.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

About 150 people packed into the United Church of Christ on Congress Avenue in Bath on Tuesday to honor Dale Fussell, 64, who was killed Feb. 12 in a propane explosion at her Bluff Road duplex.

Gabe Souza / Staff Photographer

 


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