MONTVILLE — Megan, Aleksander, Tyler and Zoe Todt were remembered for their compassion, talent and joy, as family and friends gathered at St. John the Evangelist Church for their funeral Friday.

Four white candles flickered on a table in front of the altar, surrounded by flowers and photographs of the Todt family.

In one framed picture, Alek played the violin; in another, Megan smiled, leaning back in an Adirondack chair. Next to her, portraits showed Tyler, proudly holding a fish still on the hook, and Zoe, with a smile on her face and cowboy boots on her feet. A fifth photo showed Breezy, their beloved family dog.

“Now is the time also to share especially good memories, of especially good lives,” the Rev. Robert Buongiorno said in his homily.

Their ashes, in urns adorned with silver wings, and one with paw prints, were carried carefully out of the church after the Mass. The family is planning a private burial.

About 200 people filled the church in Montville, where Megan was baptized and where her family still attends, to mourn and remember the Todts. Anthony Todt has confessed to killing his wife, three children and dog in their home in Celebration, Florida, authorities said. He was charged with four counts of murder and has pleaded not guilty.

The weeks since their deaths have been a “nightmare,” Buongiorno said. “We all live and suffer with mysteries that we cannot put into words, questions that have no answers, and pain that too often knows no relief,” he said. “It is for times like these that we are given the gifts of faith and hope.”

“May God, with time, give you the grace to move from crying because they’re gone to smiling because they were here,” he said.

Mourners wiped away tears as a choir sang “On Eagle’s Wings,” and “Amazing Grace.”

“It’s hard to put into words the impact Megan, Alek, Tyler and Zoe had on our lives. It was hard to meet them and not love them,” Mike Caplet said, delivering a eulogy prepared by their families. “Remembering them brings light to our family as we mourn our losses.”

He recalled Megan as “a kind, generous soul,” who was most proud of her children, and infused their lives with her love of music, playing piano, flute and guitar.

Megan “loved every moment with her children,” he said. “Think of her when you’re in the kitchen,” where she spent time with her grandmother and aunt.

Alek, 13, was a “serious older brother,” but would conspire with Tyler, 11, “whenever the opportunity would arise.” Tyler, who was “always into mischief,” would “stir the pot as Alek watched and waited to see when he should jump in.”

“Think of Alek and Tyler when you hear the piano. They were talented beyond their years,” Caplet said. “Alek’s compassion will live forever in our hearts. Tyler loved making people laugh. He found pure joy in laughter.”

“Princess Zoe,” 4, was “shy, full of life and so sweet,” he said, with a head of wild blond curls that sometimes left Megan saying “what am I supposed to do with this?” A few people in the church laughed as he recalled how Zoe “loved the harmonica,” and “loved to sing, even though she couldn’t carry a tune.”

“That didn’t stop her from belting out a song,” he said, while Alek shook his head and Tyler laughingly encouraged her. They spent “countless hours” swimming in the pool, he said, and recalled soccer games, bike rides and games of Battleship and mini golf.

Caplet described Breezy as “much more than the family dog,” who went everywhere with the Todts and “posed for as many pictures as she could.”

“Let us be happy for the times we had and the impact they made in our lives, and be sad for those who never had the opportunity to know them,” he said. “It’s okay to be upset, it’s OK to cry, it’s OK to be mad, but don’t stay there.”

“Their laughter will echo forever in our hearts,” he said. “Megan, Alek, Tyler and Zoe were loved by so many, but no one loved them more than those who have to pick up the pieces.”

“There is no possible way to say thank you for the compassion shown by so many,” the Todt family said in a written statement, provided by Buongiorno. “It is truly humbling to witness the outpouring of love, support and generosity shown by our surrounding communities; especially from the towns of Colchester, Montville and Celebration, Florida. We will forever miss Megan, Alek, Tyler, Zoe and Breezy. Their memories will bring us comfort in the days and years ahead.”

Connecticut Media Group