FORT KENT, Maine — Amy Theriault, the 31-year-old St. Francis woman shot and stabbed to death, allegedly by her longtime boyfriend, should be remembered for the life she led and not for the violent manner in which she died, according to the eulogy delivered at her funeral.
More than 300 family members, friends and co-workers attended funeral services for Theriault in Fort Kent Thursday afternoon, even as the manhunt for Jesse Marquis, 38, continued for a sixth-straight day with no sign of him. Theriault was killed at her residence Saturday, and police are seeking Marquis in connection with her death.
Those attending the service were dressed in all manner of purple — the color of domestic violence awareness — and a basket containing hundreds of purple ribbons needed to be refilled twice during visitation hours at the funeral home prior to the service.
“She was taken suddenly and violently from us,” the Rev. James Nadeau told those gathered at the St. Louis Catholic Church.
“I know today we are grieving and everyone has so many questions,” Nadeau said. “What I will say is, it is the quality of our lives and the quality of our love that are the most important things, not the details of our dying.”
Nadeau, who deliberately selected purple vestments for the service as a show of support against domestic violence, said Theriault was loved by all who knew her and shared her love with everyone around.
“That is where we need to focus,” he said. “On the being of Amy’s life as one who was a compassionate person who loved taking care of the elderly as she brought them her calming presence.”
Theriault worked at Forest Hill Manor, an elderly residential care facility in Fort Kent. Co-workers Thursday remembered a kind woman with an infectious laugh.
“For residents to ask for a CNA by name — that speaks volumes,” Deb Canaan, a nurse at Forest Hill Manor, said just before the funeral. “It has hit the residents very, very hard, [and] they are just broken up.”
Angie Veilleux worked with Theriault for a number of years and said she will be greatly missed.
“She was a hard worker [and] a nice person and so dedicated,” Veilleux said. “She just had that special laugh we loved.”
About 20 of her co-workers lined the walkway leading into the church to honor Theriault as her casket was carried inside.
On Tuesday, the residents of Forest Hill Manor attended a Mass with Nadeau.
“Amy touched them in so many ways,” he said. “Sometimes they say love is the best medicine of all, and that is what she shared.”
The love Theriault shared with all who knew her — including her two daughters, ages 8 and 12 — must not be overshadowed by her death, Nadeau said.
“The quality of her life, the quality of her love — that is Amy’s legacy,” he said.
At one point during the service, Nadeau stepped down from the altar to comfort Theriault’s youngest daughter, giving her one of the lollipops he keeps on hand for such times.
“I told her, ‘You will be OK. You know your mommy’s in heaven,’” Nadeau said. “She looked at me and said, ‘I know she is up in heaven looking at us now.’”
A walk and candlelight vigil will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 8, in remembrance of Amy Theriault, starting at Forest Hill Manor and ending at the Lion’s Pavilion at Riverside Park.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.