Both kids had their mom totally wrapped around their fingers. Kelly and the kids had a remarkable bond. Kelly and the kids were such amazing, wonderful people. —Tracy Miller, aunt
LAYTON — Jaden Boren was a roughhousing boy's boy, full of energy. But friends and family members remember that the 7-year-old also gave the best hugs.
His sister, 5-year-old Haley "Bug," was a girly girl who loved to dress up and was always ready to strike a pose for the camera.
On Wednesday, friends and relatives filled the Lindquist Mortuary Chapel, 1878 N. Fairfield Road in Layton, to pay their final respects to a Spanish Fork family whose lives were tragically taken too soon.
Funeral services were held for Kelly Boren, 32, her children Joshua "Jaden" and Haley, and Kelly Boren's mother, Marie King, 55. All four were killed by Kelly's husband — the children's father — Joshua Boren on Thursday. Boren, 34, committed suicide after the killings. The only hint of a motive given by police as of Wednesday was that Josh and Kelly — who were living in separate homes at the time — were having marital problems.
Tears flowed often during a somber hourlong service as several people stood at the chapel podium to share their memories of the loving mother, her children and their grandmother.
Framed pictures and mementos from the family lined the front of the chapel, including a purse, a cowboy hat, a toy ATV, and an award from one of Kelly Boren's fitness competitions. Nearby, in an overflow room, four coffins stood with flowers on top.
King's brother, Nigel McIntosh, said her family was close, and they loved taking camping trips together as children.
McIntosh was also one of several people who made reference to his English-born sister's spunk.
"She loved a night out," McIntosh said with a laugh in his British accent, remembering his sister in her younger days and her enjoyment of a night on the town. He also recalled how his sister rebelled at school.
"She didn't like being told what to do," he said.
In recent years, she had become a "very proud Nana," McIntosh said, always showing off pictures of her grandchildren.
After meeting some of his sister's American friends over the past couple of days, "I can now see why she would not want to move back to the UK," he said.
McIntosh lamented how the family was taken "so fast" and "so unforgivable." But he said his sister was the type who would want everyone to not worry about her.
Two of King's coworkers remembered how she had bought them lunch earlier that week. One woman, Megan, tearfully read a letter that she wrote to King on the day of her death.
"I called your phone too many times and prayed you left it on the counter," she said. "I drove to your house and saw so many police cars.
"I will never feel your hugs or words of encouragement in your amazingly beautiful accent," Megan cried. "I have a broken heart today. I called your phone today one last time to hear your voice and say goodbye."
Another co-worker said he'd continue writing notes to King on her Facebook page.
"Maybe there's a Facebook in heaven," he said with a smile.
Kelly Boren was remembered as a kind-hearted person who always took care of others, whether it was her parents or her children, until the day she died. At a young age she took on the responsibility of caring for her parents and grew up quickly, especially after her mother became sick with cancer. And despite a brief strained relationship with her parents after moving to Utah, she became a dedicated career woman and someone whom her father couldn't stop bragging about, said Tracy Miller, an aunt.
Miller remembered her niece as the "family social director" who organized all of her family's vacations, including a trip over the Christmas holiday to Southern California — their best vacation ever, according to family members. She was planning a return trip to England at the time of her death.
"She was so full of life and wanted to experience it all," Miller recalled.
Miller remembered Jaden as a "sweet, charming and genuinely loving kid" who gave "very warm hugs."
He was also full of energy, and his favorite subject at his second-grade class was recess. Jaden's teacher told the congregation about the time the class took a field trip to Salt Lake City using FrontRunner.
"To keep the train going, he and some boys decided to jog in place all the way to Salt Lake," she said.
Haley was remembered as being a "sassy little treasure who could wrap men and boys around her finger," Miller said. "She was a girl's girl from the start.
"Both kids had their mom totally wrapped around their fingers," she said through tears. "Kelly and the kids had a remarkable bond. Kelly and the kids were such amazing, wonderful people."
Cheryl King tearfully remembered her stepdaughter's kind heart.
"She loved to take care of the people she cared for," King said. And she loved her children "with every fiber of her being."
"We haven't even thought how we'll move forward," she said, fighting back tears. "We'll figure it out as we go along."
King also addressed Josh Boren's family, who attended the funeral, and thanked them for reaching out the past couple of days.
"We can only imagine the depth of your sorrow," she said. "You are an incredible family and in our hearts."
Later, a woman stood from the area of the room where Josh's family was sitting, walked to the podium and in a barely audible voice, even with the use of a microphone, talked about how much the family loved Kelly. She told Kelly's parents that their hearts were with them, too.
A neighbor, Rachel, also took the podium and remembered how Jaden and Haley would often walk over to her house to play with her children. "I keep expecting there will be a knock at the door and see their sweet little faces," she said.
Another tender moment came when one of Jaden and Haley's cousins, barely tall enough for his eyes to see over the podium, talked about staying up all night and watching movies with his cousins, and how he had given Jaden some sports cards.
Another woman, Kimberly, remembered how two siblings were "some of the most well-behaved children I've ever known."
Kimberly's husband worked with Josh Boren. "The law enforcement family is missing several members, and we're all heartbroken," she said. "Because of Kelly's example, it's made me a better mom."Comment on this story
There were two musical numbers during the service. Jaden and Haley's cousins invited all the children in the audience to join them in singing "I Am a Child of God." Later, "Candle in the Wind" was sung.
After the service, the congregation made the short walk from the mortuary to the Lindquist Cemetery outside where the interment for all four of the victims was held.
A funeral service for Josh Boren is scheduled for Thursday in Spanish Fork.