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Explosion victims dedicated to church, school

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 06:10:21-05

The Northfield family who lost their lives Monday night when their house exploded was dedicated to their church and local school, according to those who knew them.

“She was in the building all the time, was very helpful," said Dr. Joseph Clark, the superintendent of Nordonia Hills City Schools, of Cindy Mather, one of the four victims. "Staff spoke really, really highly of her.”

RELATED Family of four dead in Northfield house fire, explosion

Clark said Cindy was a volunteer at Northfield Elementary School where her youngest daughter Ruthie Mather was a second grader. Clark confirmed that Ruthie was another victim in the explosion.

"As kids arrived, they were upset, especially those who were Ruthie’s classmates,” he added.

Clark said Ruthie was a vibrant student who loved going to school and adored her classmates. The day after her death, teachers told Ruthie's peers about the incident. They wrote letters to her and drew pictures. Counselors were on hand to help.

Clark said Ruthie's older sister Alyson Mather, who he also said was a victim, used to attend Northfield Elementary but had not been enrolled there in a couple of years.

The Mather family attended the Rock Community Church in Garfield Heights, where the pastor said they were founding and faithful members. The father, Jeff Mather, was a deacon there for the past 13 years.

"The family was actively involved in serving their church and community," said Pastor David Brunelle. "Their lives touched a lot of people. They will be deeply missed."  

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