Chicago Tribune (IL)
100 Mourners Attend Final Rites for Johnny Lindquist
Edition: Chicago Tribune
Johnny Lindquist was buried yesterday among the rolling hills and manicured lawns of Queen of Heaven Cemetery, far removed from the storm of controversy in which he was the central figure.
After a funeral mass attended by hundreds of mourners and a burial services in Queen of Heaven's interment chapel, several cemetery employes loaded Johnny's gold-trimmed white coffin onto a truck and drove slowly to the grave.
In Holy Innocents Shrine, a section of the giant cemetery set aside for children, they lowered Johnny's battered body to its final resting place.
The ceremony at the cemetery took only five minutes, and the 100 mourners were then rushed away.
Johnny's natural mother, as well as the foster parents from whom he was taken last March 28, long since had left the cemetery. His mother was whisked home in a funeral car immediately after the terse burial service, and his foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Karvanek, Tigerton, Wis., left soon afterward.
His father, William, 31, remained locked in Cook County Jail, charged with his murder. Johnny died of injuries inflicted in a beating for which his father is accused. The boy lay in a coma for a month.
The scene two hours before at Our Lady of Help Christians Catholic Church, 832 N. Leclaire Av., was not too different. An estimated 200 persons, many of whom knew Johnny only from what they had read in newspapers, crowded into the church among rows of newspaper photographers and television cameramen. The newsmen were awaiting the arrival of Mrs. Lindquist.
Dressed in traditional black but wearing sunglasses and holding a small towel over her face to conceal sobs, she followed her son's coffin into the church. Moments later the foster parents arrived and trudged slowly up the half dozen steps into the church. Karvanek remained stoic thruout the services, but his wife's eyes glistened with tears.
"We rejoice with Johnny," intoned the Rev. Edward Kelly, the church pastor, over Johnny's white coffin. "We do not mourn for him. We mourn for ourselves.
"Today is Johnny Lindquist's day. It is Johnny's birthday into the kingdom of heaven.
"Thanks, Johnny, for inviting us to your birthday party."