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Home » New Mexico capturing victims mourned by their youngsters, 64 grandchildren

New Mexico capturing victims mourned by their youngsters, 64 grandchildren

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gwendolyn Dean Schofield hoped to reside to 100, and he or she was almost there.

However on Could 15, in what seemed to be a last act of kindness, Schofield and her daughter pulled over on a residential avenue within the northwestern New Mexico metropolis of Farmington to assist a lady who was shot at random, and so they, too, have been hit by gunfire and died.

“I assure they’d have stopped in that state of affairs 10 out of 10 instances,” mentioned Dallin Dean, Schofield’s grandson.

Schofield, who grew up within the Nice Melancholy and have become a trainer throughout World Warfare II, was a month shy of her 98th birthday. Daughter Melodie Ivie, who ran a preschool with the catchy title “Ivie League,” was 73. The lady they stopped to assist, Shirley Voita, was a 79-year-old retired faculty nurse and common at morning Mass who volunteered to assist folks file their taxes.

Every of the ladies led energetic skilled and civic lives, centered round their households and religion, leaving indelible marks on a metropolis of fifty,000 close to the purpose the place New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah meet.

Altogether they’d 64 grandchildren.

They have been laid to relaxation this week throughout two days of memorial providers in a neighborhood nonetheless grieving from the impacts of a rampage by an 18-year-old on the eve of his highschool commencement that left six others wounded, together with two cops. Officers shot and killed the gunman.

At a joint memorial service Thursday for Schofield and Ivie, Dean appeared out into the gang and informed them his aunt and grandmother would have been the primary to forgive the gunman had they survived.

Schofield started instructing within the distant lakeside city of Valier, Montana, amid a scarcity of academics throughout World Warfare II. There she met her first husband, Raymond Dean, a crop-duster pilot. They married in 1946 and had 4 youngsters.

Schofield moved on to different instructing jobs, gravitating to small cities in Wyoming and Idaho earlier than settling in Farmington to be nearer to her household after Raymond Dean died within the Nineteen Nineties. She remarried however turned a widow once more 20 years later in 2020.

Dean mentioned his grandmother — affectionately known as “Grandma Dean” by her 26 grandchildren — was self-reliant. She beloved gardening and rising her personal meals and all the time saved a stockpile of canned items.

At 97, Dean mentioned, his grandmother remained vibrant. Kin on the memorial service mentioned Schofield did so by dwelling with a “loving thoughts devoid of anger and criticism” and a “forgiving coronary heart.”

Dean mentioned his household had already been speaking about her one centesimal party earlier than the capturing.

Ivie adopted in her mom’s footsteps as an educator. For many years, “Mrs. Ivie” welcomed a whole bunch of Farmington youngsters into her dwelling, the place she ran the Ivie League preschool and ready generations of youngsters for kindergarten.

Neighbor Sheldon Pickering, 42, mentioned he grew up just a few homes from the Ivie household dwelling and was there usually, enjoying the piano for Ivie every time she requested to listen to a tune.

“She actually made you’re feeling like a part of the household,” Pickering mentioned.

When Pickering turned a father or mother, he enrolled his daughter and son on the Ivie League preschool, the place they realized to tie footwear and depend, and the place Ivie taught Pickering numerous classes that he says modified the best way he views parenthood.

On one event, Pickering recalled feeling embarrassed after shopping for his daughter a pack of gum and sending her to highschool, the place gum was forbidden. When Pickering apologized, saying he ought to have mentioned no when his daughter requested for the sweet, Ivie reassured him {that a} father or mother ought to say sure to the little issues.

“That’s what your youngsters will bear in mind,” Pickering remembered Ivie saying. “So say sure to the little issues when you possibly can.”

Ivie and her husband, Dennis, raised their eight youngsters in Farmington.

Later in life, the couple served as senior missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ghana and supplied to assist college students afterward, relations mentioned. Ivie’s husband died final yr.

Ivie and Schofield had grown particularly shut lately after Ivie moved her mom into her dwelling, Dean mentioned.

On the morning of the capturing, they drove collectively to choose up one in all Ivie’s grandchildren from faculty, Dean mentioned. They by no means arrived.

Police have mentioned the gunman didn’t seem like concentrating on anybody. Reasonably, he shot indiscriminately from exterior his dwelling earlier than strolling across the neighborhood, perforating automobiles and homes utilizing three totally different weapons. Video lately launched by police included a voice authorities believed to be the shooter urging police to kill him.

On Friday, police launched a brand new trove of physique and sprint digicam movies that paint a vivid image of the capturing. Authorities additionally offered audio recordings from a whole bunch of frantic calls to emergency dispatchers by witnesses to the rampage and its aftermath, together with a name from one in all Voita’s daughters.

Voita, who was hit by gunfire whereas in her automotive, began the day with morning Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, a part of a routine involving a deep dedication to religion and neighborhood service, mates and acquaintances mentioned.

Her memorial service was held at Sacred Coronary heart Catholic Church, the place she had been a member for almost 50 years. Kin of Ivie and Schofield have been amongst those that gathered to recollect her.

Voita and her husband of 57 years had 5 youngsters, together with the present elected tax assessor for San Juan County, 14 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Mary Johnson, a good friend of Voita’s for 25 years via neighborhood service occasions and prayer teams, mentioned Voita “did every little thing she may to assist folks.”

That included volunteering at a senior heart to assist residents file taxes and taking part in anti-abortion marches. She additionally loved snowboarding, tennis, pickleball and journeys to Vallecito Lake in Colorado.

Voita talked with ease about mortality and redemption, Johnson mentioned.

“She simply all the time expressed her love for Jesus and the way all of us actually must be prepared, on a regular basis, that you just by no means know when our time is coming,” Johnson mentioned.


Yamat reported from Las Vegas.

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