Watch the story from our sister station in Grand Rapids here.
HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Visitation for Anthony Lamb, who was killed early this week, was held at a Holland funeral home Thursday evening. But his family says there would not have been a funeral if they had not worked furiously to raise $10,000 in just one day.
“I was told that if I didn’t have $10,000 with which to bury my son or some kind of money to bury my son that they were going to cremate him,” Carol Williams, Lamb’s mother, told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday. “I called Dykstra’s (Funeral Homes) back and I told them, ‘If you cremate my son, there’s gonna be trouble.’”
Lamb, 22, was killed around 3:15 a.m. Sunday outside the Hookah Lounge in the 900 block of Butternut Drive in Holland Township. He was in the middle of a fight that had broken out when the shots were heard. Lamb was shot in the chest and died at the scene.
It was, of course, a devastating blow for his mother, who lives in Kalamazoo. She set up arrangements with Dykstra Funeral Homes on 32nd Street — the same funeral home that had overseen her father’s funeral.
“I just want to let my son rest in peace with dignity like any human being should,” Williams said.
Lamb was an employee of Port City Casting in Muskegon, where he had life insurance. It was assumed the policy would cover his funeral costs. But when that fell through Wednesday, family discovered they were on the hook for $10,000.
Williams said Dykstra demanded that all of the money be paid before the funeral.
“He didn’t think we wanted to pay and had no intentions of paying. That’s what he said,” Williams said.
So over the course of about 24 hours, a legion of family and friends of the popular young father of two raised money at stores, in front of the local Taco Bell, with car washes and an online fundraiser. Area churches donated. Lamb’s employer kicked in $3,000.
As 24 Hour News 8 spoke with Williams, she received a call from the funeral home saying it needed to see the remaining $400 by 4 p.m. 14th Street Christian Reformed Church in Holland came up with that money.
“I am just so overwhelmed by the love and support that my family has gotten from people I have never even met myself,” Williams said.
Williams went to confront the funeral home directors and to make final arrangements. The 24 Hour News 8 crew with her was asked to wait outside, but could hear as Williams received an apology and was told the whole thing was a big misunderstanding.
Family said they were treated much differently during the Thursday visit than previously.
“No compassion, no sympathy, not humane, rude, heartless, disrespectful,” Williams described her previous interactions with the funeral home. “The director, I’m pleading with him, trying to reason with him on the phone. He hung up on me.”
She said she appreciated the apology, but remained angry at the way she was treated.
Funeral home directors refused to answer 24 Hour News 8’s questions Thursday.
Williams said she can now concentrate on her son’s funeral, which is set for 10 a.m. Friday at Maple Avenue Ministries, located at 427 Maple Ave. in Holland.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office has not arrested anyone for Lamb’s murder — though one man was arrested for lying to police in connection to the case. Authorities have been tight-lipped about details of the investigation so far.