Memorial service held for slain NC mother

July 20, 2008 9:51:10 AM PDT
About 170 friends, relatives and neighbors gathered Saturday to remember a North Carolina mother found slain near her home in a Raleigh suburb.The parents and siblings of Nancy Cooper attended the ceremony along with Cooper's daughters: Bella, 4, and Katie, almost 2. Both girls sat quietly with their grandparents through the ceremony at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, where Cooper often attended North Carolina Symphony concerts.

Cooper's body was found Monday at a construction site about three miles from her home in Cary, a Raleigh suburb. Her husband, Bradley Cooper, told police she went jogging on Saturday and he had not seen her since.

One of the speakers, Hannah Pritchard, cried openly about her friendship with Cooper.

"She was a second mother to my children," Pritchard said, adding that she didn't know what she'd do without being able to speak with Cooper every day on the phone.

The Rev. Mark Drengler, pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church,told the crowd, "This tragic, evil event -- it's not fair. You know it, I know it, but most importantly God knows it. Nancy Cooper's husband did not attend the memorial. His attorneys released a statement Friday saying he needed to mourn outside the public eye.

No suspects have been named.

The slain woman's relatives traveled back to their home in Canada Saturday evening. They plan to attend a memorial service in Edmonton on Wednesday.

The parents, Garry and Donna Rentz, won temporary custody of the children, claiming in court filings that the husband was having an affair, was emotionally unstable and posed a danger to the girls.

Nancy Cooper's family has also established a memorial fund in her name.

Donations can be made to the Nancy Cooper Memorial Fund.

Send c/o RBC Bank, 101 Advent Court, Cary, N.C. 27518.

Donations can also be made at any RBC branch by referencing the Nancy Cooper Memorial Fund.

A drop box was available at Saturday's memorial service. Contributions were requested in lieu of flowers.


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