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Mourners pack Gibsons' funeral

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People arrive for the Memorial service in the MacKenzie Funeral Home in Stonewall Manitoba.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

People arrive for the Memorial service in the MacKenzie Funeral Home in Stonewall Manitoba. Photo Store

STONEWALL, Man. - Hundreds of people attended a memorial this afternoon for Lisa Gibson and her two children whose deaths have sparked a call for an inquest into mental-health services.

Mourners of all ages filled a funeral home in Stonewall, as well as a spillover room at a Royal Canadian Legion hall next door.

"It is a very sad time. It is very sad in there," said family friend Jim Linklater.

Barry Coleman said he only saw love between Lisa Gibson and her children.

"It was just unbelievable what happened," Coleman said.

"It's just such a shame... They were an incredibly happy family."

But Coleman said he is gratified the public's support of the family could lead to programs being put in place to help other mothers suffering from post partum illness.

"I'm glad this is escalating to help other women."

Ken, who didn't want to give his last name, said he works with Lisa's husband, Brian.

"We knew there were some issues," he said.

"It's just heartbreaking. The way he talked about his family and his daughter. I have a son and daughter myself. I can't imagine this."

Gibson's body was found last week in the Red River in Winnipeg — three days after her children were discovered alone and unresponsive in a bathtub in the family's home.

Police have said that while it may appear Gibson killed her children, they are not ruling out the possibility someone else did and are still investigating.

Media reports have said Gibson suffered from postpartum mental illness and there are calls for an inquest to examine what kind of health care she may have received following the birth of her son in the spring.

The office of Manitoba's chief medical examiner is investigating. It has said it will be late fall before there's a decision on whether to call a provincial inquest, which would include sworn testimony from medical experts and others in open court.

Gibson's obituary says she loved her job as a pharmacist and enjoyed the theatre, running and playing soccer.

The obituary for her two-month-old son says baby Nicholas was just starting to smile and laugh.

The deaths shocked many Winnipeg residents and prompted the city to offer counselling and other services at a community centre near the Gibson home. People have left children's dolls and other items at a makeshift memorial outside the family's home.

Gibson is survived by her husband, Brian, who was not home at the time of the children's deaths.

-- With files from Kevin Rollason

History

Updated on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 1:14 PM CDT: Adds quotes.

1:19 PM: Corrects Lisa Gibson's middle name.

4:07 PM: Updates after funeral service.

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