SPRING – Friends remember the Stay family as very religious, kind loving people. One neighbor said they were like family.
Moriah Davis knew them all. The Stay’s were close to her heart.
“I have a close connection with my family,” Davis explained. “Outside of that, I think that there’s only a handful of people that can come close to real family, and I think Katie and Stephen and that family was right at the top of the list.”
Stephen sold real estate. Colleagues told KHOU 11 News he was always smiling and focused on work, family and faith.
“They just kind of are the type of family that gets to know everybody,” said Davis.
Davis met the Stays a few years ago at the Westfield Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Spring. Stephen became the Davis family’s realtor. Katie became Moriah’s friend.
“She did everything with love,” Davis said. “She cares about everyone. I’m sure if you went up to anybody who moved into our ward after (the Stays) moved in, they would probably tell you (Katie) was the first person they met.”
Katie even organized a pre-school group and had Davis teach dance lessons to the Stay’s daughters. Those gatherings allowed Davis to get to know Brian, Emily, Becca, Zach and Cassidy.
“Brian (14-years-old) is just one of those boys that would just hug you every time he saw you,” Davis said. “I got more hugs from Emily (9-years-old) than I think I’ve gotten from my own kids. She was an angel. (Emily) and Brian both had physical limitations but they made up for it. Becca (7-years-old) was my driving force (during dance class). She was very spunky and could do all the steps. She would have been phenomenal.”
Zach, 4, was already a role model. His example taught Davis’ five-year-old son how to sit quietly during worship.
“(My son said), ‘Mom, I’ll just do what Zach does because he’s always good,’ and he was,” Davis said.
In their memory, neighbors tied ribbons around trees outside the recreation club where the Stay’s were members. Friends did the same in the neighborhood. They even built a fundraising website to help pay for funerals.
However, none did more than the lone survivor in the Stay family. Cassidy, 15, saved her grandparents. Already shot and badly wounded, she told constables who executed her family and where the killer was heading. Her strength made friends proud.
“She’s just energy,” Davis said. “She’s got tons of energy.”
For now, that energy’s focus is recovery and friends are praying for the best.