RUMNEY, N.H. – Friends and family of a woman killed this month in a shooting at a New Hampshire hospital gathered at a church Saturday to celebrate what they call her kindness, devotion to faith and radiant smile.
Mourners said Pamela Ferriere, who was 70, had a spiritual presence that lit up her surroundings and supported her efforts to spread her Christian faith to others, including her husband, Bob, whom she helped convert to the Baptist faith decades ago.
"She was a good person, inside and out. I had many people say to me this week that her warm smile brought them comfort," Pastor Bruce Althouse said, standing next to a picture of Ferriere beaming out at the congregants.
Ferriere was allegedly shot by her son, 49-year-old Travis Fink, as she lay in an intensive care unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, being treated for an aneurysm. Frink, of Warwick, Rhode Island, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. He is Ferriere's son from a previous marriage.
A friend of Ferriere's, Donna Devlin-Young, urged the roughly 150 people present to "please, pray for Travis."
Bob Ferriere told The Associated Press earlier this month that Frink struggled for the past decade with post-traumatic stress disorder after he returned from the military with a traumatic brain injury. He also said Frink had a violent streak that showed itself when he wasn't on his medication.
On Saturday, one of the themes was forgiveness.
"We are here as Christians to love the unlovable and to seek out the lost," Devlin-Young said.
Ferriere, who lived in nearby Groton and attended the Rumney Baptist Church, was known around town along with her husband as a prominent member of the community, both in church and in local government, where until recently she served as a checklist supervisor who maintains the voter rolls.
In the Rumney church, the Ferrieres were celebrated both for their spiritual gifts and for their appearance. Devlin-Young, who recently joined the congregation, remembered spotting the tall, elegantly dressed couple from behind during a service and thinking: "They look like they used to be movie stars."
Ferriere was brought to Dartmouth-Hitchcock to be treated for an aneurysm, cutting short a planned vacation with Bob, mourners said. But even in those circumstances, she remained upbeat, joking that the medical center was her "spa" and working to instill her Christian faith in the people around her.
Ferriere kept the Bible at her bedside, said Robert Button, one of her hospital caregivers who attended the service, and her "infectious smile" led many of the hospital staff to come over and introduce themselves to her.
"Despite her circumstances, she was full of joy," Althouse said.
The Ferrieres also had ties to Connecticut, where another memorial service is planned for Sept. 30 in Canterbury.