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A precious life over too soon, friends and family gather to remember Stacy Ankerfelt

Jason Ankerfelt talks at his wife, Stacy Ankerfelt
Jason Ankerfelt talks at his wife, Stacy Ankerfelt's memorial at the Auburn Riverside Theater.
— image credit: Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter

They came to remember and celebrate the life of Stacy Ankerfelt.

They came by the hundreds, packing the 400-seat Auburn Riverside Theater beyond capacity on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

They came to remember the 28-year-old Auburn Riverside graduate as a friend who had a knack for making everyone in her life feel special.

They came to celebrate the impact she had as a fifth-grade teacher at Scenic Hill Elementary School in the Kent School District.

And they came to remember her as a sister, a wife, and a daughter.

"Obviously, with this hall this full, it's a testament to how great of a gal Stacy was," her husband Jason Ankerfelt said at last Saturday's memorial. "And how she'll continue to be wonderful through us."

On July 19, Ankerfelt was struck by a car driven by Samuel Cruz. Cruz, allegedly under the influence of a prescription drug, hit Ankerfelt as stood alongside her car outside her Auburn home.

Ankerfelt was in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for a month after suffering multiple skull fractures, broken ribs and a cerebral hemorrhage. She died Aug. 20.

Cruz has been charged with vehicular homicide and is currently in jail on $250,000 bail.

On Saturday, however, nobody came to remember how Ankerfelt died.

Instead they talked about how she lived and how she will continue to live through the impact she had on those who knew her.

After playing Ankerfelt's favorite song –  "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley, with it's message of "don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright" – and a slideshow, friends, family and coworkers  took to the stage to share their memories.

"It was immediately evident that there was something special and unique about Stacy," Scenic Hill Elementary Principal Dani Pfeiffer said."Stacy's impact on students and her contribution to our profession is incomparable."

Pfeiffer talked about Ankerfelt's dedication to her students, her drive to have a positive impact and make the most of the learning experience for each one. Most importantly, however, she spoke about how Ankerfelt's giving nature will continue to have an impact on all that knew her.

"Our students, our staff, her family, her friends and me, will be visiting her inside or our heads, reminded or her thoughtfulness, her commitment to inclusion, her constant friendliness, her inquisitive nature and her caring ways, which manifested themselves in pure altruism," Pfeiffer added. "We will miss her terribly, but it is in our head and in our heart that we will remember Stacy. And we will honor her by striving to give as much as she so selflessly did."

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