Edwin and Jean Thaves laid to rest after New Year’s Day crash

MILWAUKEE — Edwin and Jean Thaves died one week ago in a drunk driving crash near 27th and St. Paul in the early morning hour of New Year’s Day. Sunday, the Thaves were laid to rest, and their family members shared some thoughts about their loved ones.

Sunday, we heard for the first time from the family of Ed and Jean Thaves. Lyann Buena Franco took a moment before the funeral for her father and stepmother to reflect on their lives. “My father was a very loving man. He will be very greatly missed by me, by my grandchildren, and by a whole slew of other people. I am very devastated by the fact that my father and his wife are dead. My father was a wonderful man. He owned a chemical business that he named after God,” Buena Franco said.

Buena Franco also remembers how Jean would have fun with her children. “When she would come over, she would get down to their level on the floor, and play ball with them, or play dolls with my daughter,” Buena Franco said.

Buena Franco says she’s struggling to understand the 17-year-old who allegedly killed her loved ones. Kelly Duke has been charged with drinking and driving before slamming a stolen car into the Thaves’ vehicle as they waited at a red light. “They had him in court the other day, showing no emotion or remorse. I mean, I felt remorse for the kid, because he’s a kid, and then for him to not even show one ounce of remorse that he killed my father and stepmother is so extremely upsetting,” Buena Franco said.

Several members of the family are promising to follow the court case very carefully and we’ve been assured they plan to speak out about the state’s drunk driving laws.

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