State

Lakewood to help pay for Modesto boy's funeral

Lakewood Memorial Park & Funeral Home in Hughson said Wednesday that it will cover about $7,500 in funeral and burial expenses for a 5-year-old boy killed while his family was moving out of their foreclosed house.

Robert Edward Martinez died Sunday after a cabinet fell on him in the garage of his northeast Modesto house.

In addition to Lakewood's donation, Robert's family will rely on community donations to pay for flowers and a casket, among other costs related to his funeral.

"Our entire staff has been touched by this sad event," said John Short with Lakewood Memorial Park. "To lose your home is very difficult. To lose your child is immeasurably painful."

By Wednesday afternoon, $800 had been deposited into a bank account for Robert's funeral, said Nichole Carrasco, a family friend.

"Robert touched so many people," Carrasco said. "This is just so overwhelming."

Donations to help pay for funeral costs can be made to the Robert Martinez Jr. Memorial Fund at U.S. Bank, account number 153463180601.

A viewing will be at 6 p.m. today at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Modesto. The funeral service will be there at 10 a.m. Friday.

Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at mbalassone@modbee.com or 578-2337.

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