Hundreds of mourners came too Second Presbyterian Church in East Memphis on Saturday to pay their respects to Eliza Fletcher, the 34-year-old mom and kindergarten teacher who was abducted and murdered while on her morning run.
Outside the church, where Fletcher met and married her husband, Ritchie Fletcher, parking lots were full as local media respected the family’s wishes that they refrain from intruding into their grief, as the family had asked in a statement after police charged Cleotha Henderson with her murder, the Memphis Commercial Appeal said.
“Now it’s time to remember and celebrate how special she was and to support those who cared so much for her. We appreciate all the expressions of love and concern we have received,” the family statement read. “We are grateful beyond measure to local, state and federal law enforcement for their tireless efforts to find Liza and to bring justice to the person responsible for this horrible crime. We hope that everyone, including media representatives, understand the need for the family to grieve in privacy without outside intrusion during this painful time.”
“She was a light and also a joy,” he said. ‘It is right for us to grieve, but let us grieve with hope. Let’s carry on the legacy of our dear sister.”
“Liza was a light to all who knew her. Her contagious smile and laughter could brighten any room,” Fletcher’s obituary reads. “Liza was pure of heart and innocent in ways that made her see the very best in everyone she met. “
In her obituary, the family requested that memorials be made to the Liza Wellford Fletcher Memorial Fund at St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Christ Methodist Day School, and Second Presbyterian Church.
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[Featured image: Eliza Fletcher/St Mary’s Episcopal School]