Sean Murray’s family huddled around him in tears as he sobbed in front of his 6-year-old son’s urn.
They wore Hawaiian leis and blue shirts bearing a photo of the first-grader wearing a dinosaur T-shirt and a red superhero cape, which his loved ones said perfectly captured his full-of-life personality.
They were among a few hundred mourners gathered at the Palm Mortuary-Jones on Saturday afternoon to honor the boy, Gavin, who died Oct. 8. Las Vegas police believe his mother, Renai Palmer, intentionally set him on fire in a murder-suicide at their home in the west valley.
Gavin’s parents were not together, and court records show a contentious custody battle that included an ongoing fight over the boy’s last name. The Clark County coroner’s office identified him as Gavin Palmer, but at Saturday’s service, his father’s family referred to him as Gavin Murray.
According to a program put together by his aunt, Amber Tesoro, “Gavin loved super heroes, race cars (Lamborghini was his favorite), watching Johnny Test and listening to his favorite rapper Tekashi 69, but most of all he loved his daddy, Sean.”
Murray said his son was his best friend.
“He was my everything,” he said through tears. “He was my drive in life.”
Chuck Wheeler said his grandson, whom he called Peanut, was “a kick to hang out with.” But he said he had to compete with his dog, Sequoia, for Gavin’s love.
“One of my favorite things to do with Gavin was to go to the park and walk Sequoia,” Wheeler said. “I’ll never forget all the times he’d be yelling at me, ‘Papa, am I walking Sequoia or is Sequoia walking me?’ He never let go of that leash, no matter what happened.”
In a few weeks, Wheeler said he plans to plant a tree at Gavin’s favorite park, where they often brought the dog.
Wheeler said Gavin’s favorite superhero was Spider-Man, so he asked everyone to buy a Spider-Man-themed gift this holiday season and donate it to a children’s hospital to help keep Gavin’s memory alive.
Murray said Gavin now serves as a superhero for his family, always watching over them.
“God needed a hero,” Murray said, “and he chose my son as his next hero.”