SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com/AP) — Three of the 14 victims killed in the attacks earlier this month at the Inland Regional Center were remembered by friends and family at memorial services on Saturday.
Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, was rememberd at a 10 a.m. service at Shiloh Christian Messianic Congregation in CalimesaREAD MORE: See Who Won During The Golden Globe Awards
He was a Messianic Jew and passionately defended Israel, actively debating about religion in online forums and in person, his friends said.
Just weeks before the shooting, Thalasinos, of Colton, was having a heated on-the-job discussion about the nature of Islam with Syed Rizwan Farook, his fellow restaurant inspector and one of the shooters.
Thalasinos’ wife, Jennifer, told the Associated Press the two “probably did have debates” but “I never got the impression it was in a bad way.”
“It was more, you know, just having discussions about religion and faith,” she said.
She said she believes her husband died a martyr because of his faith but he never indicated that Syed had radicalized. She said she did not believe her husband was individually targeted.
“They all got along really well. So it’s shocking,” she said.
Sierra Clayborn, 27, was remembered at an 11 a.m. service at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church near downtown Los Angeles.
Her friends have said she stood out as someone who always had an encouraging word.
After graduating from UC Riverside in 2010, Clayborn worked jobs in retail and at a bank before landing a position at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. Like a number of other victims, she inspected restaurants.
One restaurant manager told the Associated Press Clayborn was remarkably friendly on the job.READ MORE: 2 Riverside Co. Sheriff's Deputies Recovering After Being Hit By Delivery Van; 2 Women Killed
Matthew Peairs, a manager at Red Baron Pizza in Big Bear Lake, California, said Clayborn visited the restaurant a day before the shooting to complete an inspection.told the Associated Press Clayborn was remarkably friendly on the job.
“She was one of the nicest health inspectors that we’ve ever had,” he said. “She talked to us like normal people, not just doing her job.”
At 1 p.m., Michael Wetzel, was remembered at a memorial service at Lake Arrowhead Christian School in Twin Peaks.
Wetzel, 37, was survived by his wife, Renee, a stay-at-home mom in Lake Arrowhead, and children.
The couple had five children from previous marriages and one child together.
“Michael was the most amazing person,” Renee Wetzel said in a statement, issued through her friend Celia Behar. “He was my best friend and an incredible father who was loved by all. I have never known a better person,” the statement said. “He loved his work and his family so very much. Without him, this family will never be the same. We appreciate all the love and support that everyone is showing.”
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