Funeral for 9-year-old girl taken off life support held Saturday in Grand Prairie

A funeral service was held Saturday for a little girl whose parents fought a legal battle to keep her on life support. 

Music from a choir filled the sanctuary at St. John Baptist Church in Grand Prairie. It’s where family, friends and even classmates of 9-year-old Payton Summons gathered to say goodbye. One of her neighborhood friends told FOX 4 how they used to playfully exchange shoes. 
"I remember she always used to wear my shoes,” said Leyla Glover.

A lengthy slideshow featured images of Payton as she grew from a toddler to a little girl who played softball and loved the color purple. Just over a year ago, she hit the game-winning ball in her team’s championship game. 

"Oh it was everybody running and screaming and shouting and running around in circles. It was really, really good. We were playing our rival. It was just an awesome time," said softball coach Rickey Brewer.

Johnny Hendricks is pastor of New Hope Church Richland Hills, where Payton attended.

"She'd ask some hard questions, then she'd grab her candy and take off. Nine years doesn't seem like long. It’s not how long you live people. It's how we live," he said.

At school, Payton liked to help out with the preschoolers.

"Many of them talked about the time she shared her snacks with them or she helped them up if they fell at recess. So the message I want to leave you with, her life may have been short on this earth but it was not without impact," said Maria Cruz with East Fort Worth Montessori Academy.

Family attorney Justin Moore is a member of the congregation and says Payton’s parents have been uplifted by the outpouring of support from across the country and around the world.

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