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Berrien County woman killed in Kalamazoo shootings remembered

The Berrien County woman killed in last weekend’s Kalamazoo shootings was remembered Saturday in a memorial service.

 “Father God, we’re trying to wrap our minds around the events of last Saturday evening,” Pastor Jon Bendewald said during the service. The Nye family invited the media inside for the memorial service.

Loved ones gathered at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bridgman Saturday afternoon to remember the life of Baroda resident Mary Lou Nye, a loving mother and grandmother, who was shot and killed in a series of random shootings in Kalamazoo, Mich. last weekend.

“Mary loved the children just like Jesus loves children,” a female worker at the church said during the service.

The service was spent honoring Mary Lou, who went by Mary L., as a lover of gardening, reading and knitting.

She spent the last five years of her life working at the Immanuel Lutheran Church Child Care Center, where she became known for her homemade zucchini bread.

“Whenever she came up the steps and through the child care entrance doors, she would greet everybody with a warm smile,” Pastor Bendewald said.

In between songs of praise and group prayer, Nye’s life was remembered by the very children she watched over at the church, who made her husband, Chris, a gift in her honor.

“And I would like to say thank you, on behalf of Immanuel Lutheran Ministries, that our child care staff, our parents, our children thank you so much for sharing Mary with us,” the female worker said as she presented Chris with the present.

Mary L. lost her life alongside her best friend and sister-in-law, Mary Jo Nye, after the two went to see a Chinese acrobat show up at Western Michigan University last weekend.

“Little did they know at that time, that would be the last time they would be together here on this earth,” Pastor Bendewald said.

Chris Nye, who spoke about losing his wife and sister in the shootings in an interview two days after the tragedy, spoke only briefly during Saturday’s service. He asked those in attendance to say grace before they ate a meal prepared at the church, something he said he did with his wife every time they sat down to eat together.

“So please do hold hands with someone you love,” Chris Nye said. “And we said our grace, which we’ll use for today’s meal…Bless this food and all of us who eat it. Amen.”

Mary L. Nye was 62.

Mary Jo Nye will be remembered in a service on Sunday afternoon at Chapel Hill Methodist Church in Battle Creek, Mich., where she was from. 

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