NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Six-year-old James Mattioli couldn't wait to grow up.
He was always asking when he'd be old enough for a new adventure: Hitting a home run, riding without training wheels, ordering a footlong sub.
But James' life was cut short Friday, when he was one of 20 students and six adults killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
On Tuesday, hundreds of relatives and friends gathered to remember him at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church. His funeral at that church was followed by one for Sandy Hook classmate Jessica Rekos.
Two more students, Charlotte Bacon and Daniel Gerard Barden, were mourned at calling hours in Newtown, while a wake was held for teacher Victoria Lee Soto in Stratford.
Monsignor Robert Weiss, at James' funeral, said the boy who was impatient for adulthood had gone to a place where every day would be a 3-point shot, a home run and a perfect dive.
James' mother read a letter to her son, thanking him for cuddling with her before bedtime, when they would talk about the day's events and their plans for the next day. Cindy Mattioli smiled as she recalled the day James was born, a Wednesday, four weeks and one day before his due date.
She guessed her son's love of singing began while she was watching "American Idol" with her daughter, Anna, while they waited for relatives to come by to take care of Anna while her mom went into labor.
James sang often, sometimes
As the final blessings were being given at James' service, friends and family of his classmate Jessica Rekos started to arrive, to pay their respects to a 6-year-old who had loved horses and taught herself to tie her shoes by watching YouTube videos.
In her daughter's eulogy, Krista Rekos described her as strong-willed, mature and smarter than both of her parents combined.
Eager to take on more responsibilities, Jessica had recently assigned herself the task of setting the family's table before dinner, Rekos said.
One day last week, Jessica was so excited that she set the table two and a half hours before the meal.
Weiss said Rekos and her husband, Mark, had come to him after the shooting, questioning how they could continue to be parents to their sons Travis and Shane after losing Jessica.
But Weiss said he had seen Krista Rekos the day of the shooting, pacing back and forth as she waited for news about her daughter.
"That's a mother," he said, reassuring the couple they would continue to be the great parents they were for Jessica.
In the church entryway and near the altar, posters were set up bearing pictures of Jessica smiling, playing dress-up and blowing on a dandelion.
Loved ones paid respects to two more of the 20 in private wakes Tuesday evening.
Charlotte Bacon, 6, was mourned at Christ the King Lutheran Church.
In the early evening, a new wave of mourners poured out of St. Rose of Lima to remember Daniel Barden, 6.
An impromptu memorial popped up in front of the church during Daniel's calling hours, as friends and relatives brought candles, stuffed animals and flowers. Among the mementos was a sign from the New York school district where his mother teaches elementary school.
"To the Barden family," the sign read. "Our loving prayers from your friends in Pawling, N.Y."
In Stratford, hundreds turned out for the wake of Victoria Leigh Soto, the 27-year-old Sandy Hook teacher credited with saving the lives of her first-graders by hiding them during the shooting. She was shot and killed in her classroom, reportedly after telling the gunman her students were in the gym.
Just before the start of the scheduled calling hours at the Adzima Funeral Home, a line wrapped around the building and into the streets.
One of those waiting to honor the Stratford resident was June McGuire of Trumbull, who worked at Bridgeport Hospital with Soto's mother. Soto baby-sat McGuire's granddaughter for a decade, beginning when the girl was 4. McGuire said Soto played games with her, fed her and generally watched out for her.
"She knew what she was doing," McGuire said. "And she was going to protect those kids, just like she protected my granddaughter."
Staff writers Mary Albl, Sarah Favot, Jen Swift, Patricia Doxsey and Jeff Kolb contributed to this report.