RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — What would have been a wedding is now a celebration of life.
On Saturday, loved ones of Mary Marshall — one of five people killed in Raleigh’s mass shooting — honored her life through sharing their memories of the 34-year-old.
The stage sat adorned with photos, lanterns, fall leaves and pumpkins. All things she loved and planned to incorporate in her intimate mountain wedding, which would have been on Saturday.
“All of that was Mary’s idea because loved this kind of weather, she loved this season,” her fiancé Robert Steele said.
Marshall’s friends and family described her as someone with an infectious laugh, intense fear of spiders, determination to follow her own dreams and an open heart to everyone around her.
“I want to hear her cackle and then chuckle and then cackle again as she relays a story,” friend and employer Lindsay Mumma said.
Steele said he was planning to see photos of Marshall in her wedding dress from her last fitting for the first time after the memorial service on Saturday.
“Mary taught me how to be a better man,” Steele said. “For the rest of my life, I intend to live up to her having chosen me.”
Marshall’s sister, Meaghan McCrickard, thanked friends and the community for the outpouring of support. McCrickard ended remarks by dedicating her life to living like her younger sister.
“You could just see in her face, she was happy. She was finally in a place where she felt good about life,” McCrickard said. “I’m going to take her braveness and her love for life and I am going to live happy and bold and loud and full of laughter and love.”
Following the public gathering, the family held a separate, private celebration of life.