BRIDGMAN, Mich. — Family and friends gathered Saturday for the funeral of Mary Lou Nye, one of the six victims killed in the Kalamazoo mass shooting last week.
The service was held at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bridgman.
Mary Lou was born on September 5, 1953 in Lansing. She graduated from Eaton Rapids High School in 1971 and from Western Michigan University in 1976 with a history major and education minor.
While she was at WMU, her best friend and college roommate, Mary Jo Nye introduced Mary Lou to her brother Chris Nye.
Chris and Mary Lou got married and had been together for 40 years.
"Loving," Chris said, "just because its the definition of what she is."
For the past five years, Mary worked for the Immanuel Lutheran Church childcare program.
"She was a very valuable employee... just the love for the children and whatever our director needed her to do," Pastor Jon Bendewald said, "she had a heart of gold."
Pastor Bendewald added that Mary's real gift was reading to the children, helping them develop language skills.
Her husband said reading was a big part in Mary's life, "sometimes I told her she liked [books] more than she liked me."
Mary is survived by her husband Chris, her son Bart Nye, daughter-in-law Gwen Nye, her grandson Geoffrey, her siblings Roseleah Paradis, Joan Demorest, and Sue McCarrick.
Mary's best friend and sister-in-law, Mary Jo Nye was also killed in the shooting last Saturday. She will have her funeral tomorrow at the Chapel Hill Methodist Church in Battle Creek.