MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The community of Long Prairie came together Thursday to remember a former NFL player and his wife.

Sixty-three-year-old Barry Bennett and his wife, Carol, died at their home last week. One of their sons is accused of killing them.

The memorial service was held at the high school where Bennett was a respected teacher.

“Our parents were good people. They were amazing parents and they loved the Lord,” said Barry Bennett Jr. “And I don’t think any of us understood how far their reach was in this community.”

Barry and Carol Bennett (credit: CBS)

Barry Bennett Jr. was the first to acknowledge the impact his parents had on him, his siblings and every person who came into contact with them.

“As much as this has rocked our family’s world, we know that the Long Prairie community is hurt just as much,” he said.

Barry and Carol Bennett’s tragic end does not overshadow how they lived their lives. Devout Christians, the couple’s focus was their faith, family and community.

(credit: CBS)

Barry played in the NFL for 11 years — but most who live in this small community never knew of his accomplishments on the football field.

“I mean, he would talk about it if you asked him, but he never wanted that to be a focus,” said friend Kent Gustafson. “He cared about his family, he cared about this community. It was about others, and not about himself.”

On this day, Barry and Carol’s favorite songs were sung, and the scriptures they focused on during challenging times were read.

“They were a team in everything they did,” Gustafson said.

What this couple did was allow their light to shine, and make it possible for others to follow.

The Bennett’s children say they will remember the lessons taught by their parents, and apply them to their everyday lives. They asked people who came to celebrate the lives of their parents to remember and use one of the most important gifts God gave us all — the gift of forgiveness.

Mexican authorities arrested the Bennett’s son, Dylan, in Cancun. He now faces murder charges.

Reg Chapman

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