Skip to comments.Together in Death: Funeral of Parents Murdered by Daughter's Boyfriend
Posted on 11/20/2005 2:10:53 PM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
The funeral service was led by elders from Monterey Chapel in Leola, where the Bordens worshipped and where Mike Borden was an elder and Sunday school teacher.
None of the five children spoke during the service. They appeared drawn but composed, even near the end of two hours of greeting mourners.
The deaths of Mike and Cathy Borden were a tragedy.
But, Rex Trogden said Saturday, Id like to introduce you to the word triumph.
A hard word to speak when standing on a stage behind two closed caskets, with five orphaned children in the front row, yet one, the Bordens friends said at their funeral service, that is integral to their lives and their faith.
They risked their lives together, Trogden, a pastor who knew the Bordens in Charlotte, N.C., said. Mike and Cathy were willing not only to risk their lives but to lay down their lives.
And they did so ... together.
Before a gathering of at least 500 in Lancaster Bible Colleges Good Shepherd Chapel, the Bordens, who were shot to death last Sunday, were memorialized in a funeral service with a strongly evangelistic tone.
That was intentional, Trogden said: The Bordens children knew their parents would want the gospel message to be proclaimed.
David Ludwig, the 18-year-old boyfriend of the Bordens 14-year-old daughter Kara, has been charged with the killings at the familys Warwick Township home.
Kara Borden, wearing a light-colored sweater, sat with her four siblings during the funeral.
Afterward, the children and other family members attended a graveside service at Landis Valley Mennonite Cemetery.
Trogden referred to the funeral as a homegoing to be with the Lord.
They loved you so much, he said, speaking to the Borden children, and cared for you so well, and prayed for you.
Echoes of tragedy
Television cameras and still photographers were barred from the LBC campus Saturday, although reporters without cameras were permitted to attend; the funeral was open to the public.
Cameramen were sent to a media area at the far end of the Manheim Township campus.
One person who attended a Wednesday service for the Bordens at Monterey Chapel said friends had noted that the oldest son, James, was bringing his girlfriend home for Thanksgiving to meet his parents, and the second son, Justin, had recently returned from serving in Iraq.
The other two children, Katelyn, 15, and David, 11, were at home last Sunday morning when, according to police, David Ludwig pulled out a .40-caliber handgun and shot first Mike Borden and then Cathy.
Police have said Ludwig was summoned to the house after the Bordens discovered he had brought Kara home after what they thought was a sleepover at a friends house. The parents apparently disapproved of the relationship, at least partly because of the age difference.
Ludwig is charged with abducting Kara after the shootings, triggering the issuance of an Amber Alert. The two were finally caught in Indiana after Ludwig crashed his Volkswagen Jetta into a tree during a police pursuit.
Saturday, the funeral included only fleeting references to the tragedy.
I see the compassion of Mike and Cathy in Kara, said Bill Bradford, who delivered the message. Kara was able to reach out to touch some of the most unlovely people.
Focus on triumph
Instead, the Bordens friends talked about Mike and Cathy.
Trogden compared them to Aquila and Priscilla, a husband and wife mentioned in the New Testament. Three times theyre listed as Aquila and Priscilla and three times as Priscilla and Aquila.
Equal billing, Trogden said. Its that way, isnt it? The two of them were together in everything.
Mike was a bit of a perfectionist, said Bradford. He wouldnt preach a sermon until every I was dotted and every T was crossed.
Cathy had the same perfectionist streak, Bradford said.
Both were mighty warriors of prayer: If you were in Mike Bordens Palm Pilot, you were prayed for.
Mrs. Borden had a twin, Cindy. Bookends, Bradford said.
And, because they both spoke with Southern accents, stereo bookends.
Mike had a wonderfully dry sense of humor, Trogden said. One Christmas, Cathy wanted the biggest tree they could find to best display all the family ornaments. But the tree was so big that it had to be trimmed before it would fit into the house.
For Christmas, Mike gave Cathy a crystal snowman with an inscription: Room for one more ornament.
Mike Borden was vice president and general manager of the Digital Publishing Services Division of Cadmus Communications in Ephrata. Cathy Borden was a homemaker who home-schooled the three youngest children.
They dated in high school in Hannibal, Mo. Cathy earned a bachelors degree in special education and Mike an associates degree in graphic design, both from Northeast Missouri State University. They were married in 1977.
Both were 50 when they died.
Cathy Borden had been attending weekly Change of Pace Bible studies at Lancaster Alliance Church, sponsored by Friendship Foundation, since the family moved to Lancaster in 1996.
Dona Fisher, head of Friendship Foundation, said Thursday that Mrs. Borden was just a joy. When she walked in, she was just so happy.
The group offers a program for homeschoolers, so the three children accompanied their mother. Change of Pace participants told Fisher that Kara was so much fun. The kids just loved her.
Michael Borden was a spiritual leader in his home, Fisher said: He confronted evil.
... Its a real loss for us.
Not the end
Most importantly, the Bordens friends said, both of them loved Jesus.
One Bible verse printed in Saturdays program, As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, from the book of Joshua, was taken from a plaque in the Bordens home.
The Bordens went with Bradford to see The Passion of the Christ at the theater two years ago. We all shared the same hanky, Bradford remembered. Afterward, Cathy said, It never dawned on me how much somebody was willing to do on my behalf.
Its difficult for us to say goodbye, Bradford said in his benediction. It should be easy to look forward to a time when we can say, Welcome home.
He quoted Matthew 5:4, Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted, and John 16:22, Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
This, Rex Trogden said, is not the end.
I identify completely with you...my son died when he was 15...I remember everything about the funeral, what I was wearing etc. but I could not cry...
My son had a usually rare and terminal type of leukemia...I cried so much when he was ill for the 15 months that he lived with this disease, that when he died, I could no longer cry...no matter how hard I tried to cry, I could not...I was either all cried out, or just in absolute grief and shock...
His funeral was held 700 miles away from where we were living, down by my parents...so we drove down there...when we returned home, a few weeks later, I lost my memory completely, and it was gone for about 15 months..
That was 20yrs ago, and I still have very little recollection of that time right after his funeral...my doc says its just my brains way of dealing with his loss...its probably better that I dont remember how I felt during that time...since I did not get into any trouble or cause problems for anyone(My hubby took great care of me during this time), I do suspect that my having amnesia for that time is really the best thing for my mental health...
People who have never gone through a tremendous shock, or tremendous grief, do not really realize that that shock and grief can make a person act in ways which they thought they would not...
My prayers are with you, in dealing with the death of your child...I know how difficult it can be...
Your right, but I didn't have words for worse than horrible. What surprises me is the way the police are taking their time investigating her part. Normally we see them removed from the home, and then checked out. I think that's good. I do have concerns that the guy he planned with might still be out there but I guess if I thought about this then the police have too and are monitoring.
If he's implicating her then this wasn't about a guy in love with a girl and trying to take her away from her parents. I'm no psych but he probably was just mad because they "interfered"
Pharmacuticals'll do that to you. thanks for the ping.
he probably was just mad because they "interfered".
been thinking the same - a control freak. Probably that's why he brought the gun to the house, if they forbid him to see Kara, he would use it.
It's probably shock. I was 13 when my father died and didn't shed a tear at his furneral. I showed no emotion at all much to the approval of the adult guests. Of course thast repressed grief came back to bite me later but at the time no-one thought anything of it.
I wait further evidence before weighing in on her criminal culpability. She is morally culpable for their murders.
Yes, I agree with you completely.
That was what I figured, in the absence of hard info.
I remember being fourteen, and probably alot better than you since it was 5 years ago. This poor girl was probably enthralled with the idea that an older boy took interest in her. And of course her parents weren't thrilled. I mean the boy was 18.
She probably just snuck out one night or stayed out and didn't come home. Her parents not knowing where she was went frantic which is what good parents do. And when she shows up at 6 in the morning, they hold her and him accountable.
14 year olds are prone to bad judgement especially bad judgement calls abouts character. Usually we're just left emotionally hurt, and we learn and move on. If her parents thought that boyfriend was even the slightest bit dangerouse, there is no way they would have invited him into their home.
Thank you for saying what needed to be said.
That doesn't exactly look like a flattering portrayal (comparing the parents to the rebellious daughter).
what an odd thing to say ... I'm biting my tongue. ouch.
My comment or the one in the article? This entire article is odd. Almost as if there's a celebratory undercurrent.
Yes, the whole article is odd -- guess that's natural, since the whole situation is, too.
I join in prayer for all those suffering this loss!
He was grasping for anything to say to try to comfort these kids . I mean, what can you say at a funeral like this?
Thank you for your agreement in prayer!