Hundreds of people gathered at the Church of the Holy Comforter on Friday morning, April 27, to say goodbye to lifelong Vienna resident Maxine Shelly Turner. The 22-year-old was one of the victims of the April 16 massacre at Virginia Tech.
"She was a young woman who was full of life, with all the wonderful contrasts of a growing, vibrant person," said the Rev. Robert Prichard, delivering the homily at the funeral. "She was tiny in stature and yet exuberant as swing dancer and a practitioner of Tae kwon do. She had an organized career path set out clearly before her, but she was incapable of keeping her room in order," said Prichard. "She was serious about what she wanted and needed to do, and yet could be playful and foolish."
Other speakers remembered Turner as a person who loved and a person who was loved. Friend John Woods said he did not know whether heaven existed, but could not think of anyone more deserving of being there if it does. Woods and the other two speakers, Erica Kellar and Lillian Ng, said people should continue to act in ways Turner acted, in order to keep her legacy of love and care alive. Prichard agreed, adding that those who knew her should continue to share stories and memories of Maxine Turner.
"We can treasure the notes that Maxine leaves in our heart for our lives long. Like Mary passing on stories of her son to Luke, we can pass on and keep alive the story of Maxine’s life," said Prichard.
Turner’s parents, Paul and Susan, released a statement through neighbor Chris Connell in which they thanked neighbors, friends, family and even strangers for the support received during the difficult time. "She lit up every room she walked into, and every photo ever taken," reads the statement. "She was the kind of kid who made teachers love their jobs. They loved what she brought to every class, and they loved Max all the more when she came back and sought them out, again and again, after graduation," read the statement. "Maxine was our daughter, our sister and our friend, and we love her deeply, now and forever."