Friend: McLellands were a 'romance of a lifetime' type of couple - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Friend: McLellands were a 'romance of a lifetime' type of couple


As the investigation continues into Saturday's murders, friends of Cynthia McLelland described her as loving, warm and devoted to her husband, Mike.

Kaufman County Tax Assessor-Collector Tonya Ratcliff met Cynthia McLelland nine years ago at a quilt retreat, where she says they became fast friends.

"She was a mom, a baker. She loved to bake and have family gatherings. She really enjoyed having all her family and friends together at her home. She entertained a lot at her home," said Ratcliff.

Ratcliff says the McLellands were devoted to each other.

"They were a loving couple. They never said a harsh word about each other in front of each other or not in front of each other," Ratcliff said. "They were the 'romance of a lifetime' type of couple."

Ratcliff says Cynthia's big hobby was quilting, making quilts at the 2 Sisters Quilt Shoppe across the street from the courthouse her husband worked at.

The owner of the quilt shop said Cynthia was there at least once a week, teaching a class or buying supplies. She said Cynthia was a great person and a great wife who made everything about her husband Mike.

"What will you miss the most?" we asked Ratcliff.

"Just talking to her on a daily basis," she said, breaking down into tears.

Ratcliff says it just hurts to know someone would hurt her good friend.

"It's hard to come to grips with the fact that she was gone. I feel like she was an innocent that was caught in this whatever was going on because she wouldn't hurt a fly," said Ratcliff. "I know they were Christians. I know they believed. And I know they're in a better place. But I still hurt for her. And I miss her and Mike both."

A memorial service will be held for the McLellands Thursday at 1 p.m. At the First Baptist Church of Sunnyvale. Governor Rick Perry will speak at the service.

Funeral and burial services for the McLellands will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Wortham, where Mike McLelland grew up. Wortham is 75 miles south of Dallas.

The Kaufman County Republican Party will interview potential candidates on April 13 to fill the position of Kaufman County District Attorney. The party is compiling a list of interested candidates, including a Tyler attorney. They say they plan to endorse one candidate, whom they hope the governor will appoint as district attorney.

Under state law, Kaufman County First Assistant District Attorney Brandi Fernandez has been appointed Interim District Attorney for 21 days, or until Perry appoints a new DA.

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