ASHLAND, Ohio — Family and friends of Lynn Jackenheimer remembered the young mother as a beautiful woman who was full of life and cared for her children more than anything else Monday.
Jackenheimer, 33, was laid to rest in her hometown of Ashland. She was stabbed and strangled to death while vacationing in North Carolina with her two children and her estranged boyfriend, Nate Summerfield.
Summerfield returned from the vacation, dropped the two children off with relatives and confessed to his brother that he had killed Jackenheimer before vanishing.
Jackenheimer’s funeral was held at Grace Brethren Church in Ashland, where family friend and Sunday school teacher Dick Riley presided over the service.
“First of all today we want to honor Lynn’s life and we want to honor what she has meant to this community and this family,” Riley told Fox 8 before the service, adding “we want to offer a message of hope to the people attending this funeral.”
Attending the funeral were many friends and family, former neighbors, teachers, and even complete strangers reaching out to Jackenheimer’s family in a show of support.
At the funeral a microphone was passed around the church giving those in attendance an opportunity to share their memories of Jackenheimer. Among those who spoke was her daughter Ciara Sheppard, 13, who said of her mother, “Lynn Jackenheimer was a very good loving caring mom…I hope she has a good life in heaven with God…I love you mom.”
Jackenheimer’s cousin, Tonya Rishel, spoke with Fox 8, calling the funeral “hard.”
“You don’t sleep,” said Rishel.
“For the time that the family was searching you would go to bed at night wondering where she was at. I watched my children sleep and realized she wasn’t going to get that opportunity again, her children aren’t going to wake up and see her again,” she added Rishel said even though the family was laying Jackenheimer to rest, they could not yet rest themselves until Summerfield is brought to justice.
“The family needs to feel safe again and they don’t and they won’t feel safe until he’s brought in,” said Rishel.
The sentiment was repeated by many of Jackenheimer’s friends attending her funeral.
“I would ask Nate you know, if he sees this do the right thing, just turn yourself in,” said Lonnie Harris.
“I want to see him caught,” said Rob Cotner, a former boyfriend of Jackenheimer who admits he has a lot of anger about her death.
For all of the bitterness about the crime, however, First Brethren Church Pastor Rob Barlow says he has never seen a community come together as closely as Ashland residents have since Jackenheimer was first reported as missing.
“It’s a broken world,” Barlow told Fox 8 News on Monday, “There’s a lot of ugliness out there but one of the beautiful things is when community comes together and cares for one another, shows incredible support love and concern, in some cases for a person they don’t even know but they feel for the families pain and the families suffering.”