ROSWELL, Ga. – Patsy Ramsey, thrust into a national spotlight by the unsolved 1996 slaying of her 6-year-old daughter, was remembered Thursday for her strength after JonBenet's murder and, later, a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
Ramsey often called people who were beginning cancer treatment to offer encouragement, friends said at her funeral. Others described how she helped her 19-year-old son, Burke, build a skateboard park.
Only a few references were made to JonBenet's death during the eulogies. Patsy Ramsey died Saturday at age 49.
"We believe this day ... she is in a place where there's no more suffering, no more pain," said the Rev. Mike Long, senior minister of the Roswell United Methodist Church, where the funeral was held.
After the release of hundreds of colorful balloons, she was buried beside her daughter at a cemetery in Marietta, an Atlanta suburb.
JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of the family's home in Boulder, Colo., on Dec. 26, 1996. A grand jury investigation in Boulder ended with no indictments, and no arrests have been made in the case.
Patsy Ramsey, a native of West Virginia, was crowned Miss West Virginia in 1977. JonBenet followed her mother into beauty pageants, and her titles included Little Miss Colorado; Colorado State All-Star Kids Cover Girl; and National Tiny Miss Beauty.
John and Patsy Ramsey left Colorado after JonBenet's death and wrote a book, "The Death of Innocence," published in 2000.
In 2004, Patsy Ramsey discussed her daughter's death during her husband's unsuccessful bid for the Michigan House. John Ramsey finished second among six candidates vying for the Republican nomination.
"We can't just hold our breath and hope the killer will be found and then go on with our lives," Patsy Ramsey said at the time. "We have to move ahead now. We can't let evil win."