Craig Strickland's wife Helen remembers their first date during country singer's moving funeral service

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Craig Strickland's Wife Helen Shares Personal Memories From Their First Date at Funeral Service



Craig Strickland was fondly remembered as a loving, deeply religious husband during his emotional funeral service.

Joined by the Backroad Anthem singer's family, band, and loved ones at Cross Church in Rogers, Arkansas on Tuesday night, Craig's wife Helen celebrated the singer's life with memories and music, after he and his friend, Chase Morland, died during a duck hunting trip in Oklahoma.

During the service, Craig's family and loved ones -- including his father, mother and sister -- shared recorded memories of the man they knew and loved during his 29 years of life.

During her portion, Helen acknowledged she was "just getting started on [her] path with grief."

See more photos of Craig Strickland:

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Country star Craig Strickland found dead after hunting trip
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Craig Strickland's wife Helen remembers their first date during country singer's moving funeral service
This undated image released by Lightfly Creative shows Craig Strickland, lead singer of Arkansas-based country-rock band Backroad Anthem. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Strickland, 29, of Springdale, Ark., died at Kaw Lake, near the Kansas-Oklahoma state line after he and Chase Moreland disappeared on a hunting trip. Strickland'sbody was recovered on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. The body of Morland, 22, of Van Buren, Ark., was recovered Dec. 28. (Brian Armas/Lightfly Creative via AP)

Craig Strickland and Chase Morland

(Photo via Facebook)

In case we don't come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. 😅 #IntoTheStorm

Chase Morland and Craig Strickland

(Photo via Facebook)

Thank you so much @kristinathomasphotography for sending these beautiful pictures of us. I am crying because they make my heart so full of love for this man. I love him with every fiber of my being. And I want to thank everyone for all the love, kind words and support they have sent to our family. Thank you for continuing to pray without stopping. Because of you we have been able to make it through this difficult time. Thank you for loving us and Chase's family. Thank you @CrossChurch and @shilohsaints For holding a prayer session for Craig for the past two nights. I couldn't make it through life without all of you. Thank you to all the people who have come up, called, and messaged me to shower me with love. Thank you to @backroadanthem for loving me as a sister and being there for our family every step of the way. Thank you to all the OK law enforcement agencies that have cared so much through this crisis. I'm sorry I can't thank everyone for everything you have done. But know that I love you and appreciate every single call, text, hug and prayer. To update everyone, the search for Craig has been called for the night and will resume in the morning. We love you and appreciate you more than words can say. Please continue to pray for both our and Chase's family.

Craig Strickland with his band Backroad Anthem

(Photo via Facebook)

R E A D Y for tonight in Jonesboro. AR Brickhouse 9pm 👍🏼

Craig Strickland

(Photo via Facebook)

Craig Strickland

(Photo via Facebook)

From Little Rock last night to now sitting in a tree in Brown County Illinois... Ready to give an Illinois buck a ride in the back of the truck... 👊🏼
Thank you everyone who will be there tonight. You have no idea what that means to me and does for my heart. I am so blessed to have my CrossChurch and Shiloh family. I wouldn't be able to walk through this difficult moment without all of you. Thank you all. Love you ❤️
Merry Christmas from the Stricklands ☺️ #PrettyWife #Christmas
#missusa2015 with my love ❤️ @backroadcraig I'm so incredibly happy a member of our Vanbros family won it!!! So proud to have judged you at Miss OK USA @missusa! You did amazing!! 👑💖👏🏻
Well that was fun... #KendrickFincher #Arkansas
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WATCH: Helen Strickland Reveals Her Last Heartbreaking Moments With Her Husband Craig: 'I Wouldn't Change Anything'

"For Craig's and my first date, he took me to Mt. Sequoia, that lookout point," she revealed, admitting, "for a girl, that made me a little nervous at first."

"He turned and looked at me and said, 'I've come to realize that relationships are the only thing that we take with us to Heaven."

Helen then turned the memorial outward, saying, "Even now God is showing us the good that can come from any tragedy.

MORE: Helen Strickland Asks for Prayers Ahead of Husband Craig's Memorial, Shares Heartbreaking Photo

"I love you Craig Michael Strickland," she concluded. "And I love each of you, as he did."

Craig's father also shared a fond memory of one of his son's musical accomplishments.

"When the band opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Craig said 'Dad, take the day off,'" Criag's father revealed, saying, "I'm so, so proud of my son."

"God had a plan for Craig, as he does everyone," said his mother. "I'm so honored that God chose me to be Craig's mother."

WATCH: Helen Elizabeth Strickland Shares Touching Wedding Video of Late Husband Craig

"I love you, and I cannot wait to see you," she added, as a message to her son.

"This is a situation I never thought I'd be in. Talking about the life of my brother in the past tense," Craig's sister admitted. "Craig loved everyone he met, but there was no one he loved and adored more than Helen."

WATCH: Craig Strickland's Band Backroad Anthem Releases His Final Music Video

After the service, Helen exited the funeral before the rest of the guests were dismissed, and it was asked that everyone respected her privacy during this difficult time.

Earlier on Tuesday, the former Miss Arkansas shared a letter to her late husband on Instagram, writing, "Today I buried my husband. This is a picture of the letter I put in his jacket pocket."



On Jan. 4, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Marine Enforcement Division recovered Craig's body in an area referred to as Bear Creek Cove. The 29-year-old singer and his 22-year-old friend, Morland, 22, were first reported missing following a duck hunting trip during a storm. Chase's body was found on Dec. 28.

Watch the video below for Helen's remembrance of her final moment with Craig.

Craig Strickland's Widow Reveals Their Final Moment: 'He Blew Me a Kiss'
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