Aurora shooting victim Russell Beyer mourned at private wake; other services set

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Russell Beyer, 46, was killed in the shooting at an Aurora warehouse. | Nader Issa/Sun-Times, Provided photo

Family and friends of Aurora shooting victim Russell Beyer mourned his death at a private wake Thursday afternoon in the western suburbs as loved ones of the other men killed in the attack also announced services.

Beyer, 46, was one of five men killed by a coworker in last week’s mass shooting at the Henry Pratt Company. Six others were wounded in the shooting, including five Aurora police officers.

An obituary posted to the Dieterle Memorial Home’s website eulogized Russell as a “fun, loving gentle giant of a guy, who was friends with everyone.”

“Russell would truly give you the shirt off of his back,” the obituary read.

The attack came as the shooter was being fired from his job after working 15 years with the company, Aurora police have said.

Russell Beyer’s father, Ted Beyer, told the Chicago Sun-Times the day after the shooting that his son, as chairman of the union at Henry Pratt, had previously advocated for the gunman to get his job back.

Russell Beyer was in the room when the shooter opened fire.

“I loved him … We were close. He was my first kid.” Ted Beyer said. “My son died trying to set it straight.”

Russell Beyer is survived by his adult children, Megan and Brett Beyer, his parents, a sister and a brother.

His funeral will be held Friday morning at Dieterle Memorial Home in Montgomery.

The first of the funerals for the shooting victims took place Wednesday, when 21-year-old Trevor Wehner — an intern in his first day on the job when he was killed — was laid to rest in Sheridan, about 30 miles southwest of Aurora.

Also Thursday, a visitation was held for Vicente Juarez at the Dunn Family Funeral Home in Oswego. Juarez’s funeral was also set for Friday morning.

“He was a hardworking, responsible and loving husband, father and grandfather,” an obituary on the funeral home’s website read. “Vicente could always be heard shouting out loud ‘Ay Mija’ anytime the weather took a turn for the worst all while comforting his family with laughs.”

Arrangements for Clayton Parks were scheduled for Saturday at Willow Funeral Home in Algonquin and services for Josh Pinkard will also be held Saturday in Alabama, where he grew up and worked before coming to Aurora to work at Henry Pratt.

The Henry Pratt Company announced last week that it would pay for all five men’s funerals.

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