Eliza Fletcher: Funeral In Memphis Draws Hundreds As Murdered Mother Remembered For ‘Bringing Light’ To The World

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Loved ones and hundreds of mourners from the Memphis community gathered on Saturday morning to say their final goodbyes Tennessee teacher and Mother Eliza Fletcher, who was honored for “bringing light into this day and the world.”

It is estimated that more than 300 mourners attended funeral services in the Second Presbyterian Church, in Memphis, Tennessee, where 34-year-old Fletcher first met her eight-year-old husband Richard. Those in attendance waited in lines to enter the building, as mourners steadily arrived during the 90 minutes leading up to the ceremony.

Fletcher’s family arrived around 9:45 a.m. local time in two funeral vehicles and a large bus. The ceremony was streamed live via the church’s YouTube page. Among the songs and hymns performed by the Second Presbyterian Church choir was “This Little Light of Mine,” which Fletcher sang in heartbreaking video to her young students during the coronavirus pandemic.

ELIZA FLETCHER FUNERAL: SLAIN MEMPHIS JOGGER REMEMBERED WHEN FAMILY FINALLY GIVES farewell

Eliza Fletcher’s husband, Richard Fletcher, photographed outside the Second Presbyterian Church on September 10, 2022.
(Matt Symons for Fox News Digital)

Senior Pastor Dr. George W. Robertson told mourners that “everything in this service has something to do with the life of Eliza Fletcher.”

Mourners gather at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.

Mourners gather at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.
(Matt Symons for Fox News Digital)

“You probably recognize the nursery rhyme ‘This Little Light of Mine’ that she recorded for her preschoolers to encourage them to shine their light even during the difficult times of COVID. And you may recognize those who came to her wedding. This were her favorite people. She was a bright spot. She was also a joy,” Robertson said, according to the livestream. “Eliza’s name is Hebrew… It means joy.”

Eliza Fletcher's father leans against a wall as mourners gather at the Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.

Eliza Fletcher’s father leans against a wall as mourners gather at the Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.
(Matt Symons for Fox News Digital)

ELIZA FLETCHER FUNERAL: SLAIN MEMPHIS JOGGER’S MEMORIAL SERVICES ANNOUNCED

He spoke of Fletcher’s love of designing her own Nike tennis shoes and how she was “very proud of those shoes.”

Eliza Fletcher's father, James Beasley, and mourners gather at the Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for her funeral service.

Eliza Fletcher’s father, James Beasley, and mourners gather at the Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for her funeral service.
(Matt Symons for Fox News Digital)

“‘This little light of mine,’ said Liza, ‘I let it shine.’ Liza didn’t have a world changer resume, as we count world changers,” continued Robertson, “But if Jesus is your light – no matter how small, regardless of the fact that the world fires you because you may not have what it says you want – with Jesus as your light, however small you are, it shines brightly. This little light, born 34 years ago, brings light to this day and the world”

Eliza Fletcher's mother, Adele Wellford, and husband, Richard Fletcher, seen with mourners as they gather at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.

Eliza Fletcher’s mother, Adele Wellford, and husband, Richard Fletcher, seen with mourners as they gather at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.
(Matt Symons for Fox News Digital)

Photos from outside Saturday’s ceremony show mourners, including Fletcher’s mother, father and husband and other family members, comforting one another before services began.

ABDUCTION OF ELIZA FLETCHER: TIMELINE OF THE MEMPHIS TEACHER REFERRAL AND MURDER

Eliza Fletcher's father, James Beasley Wellford, and mourners gather at the Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.

Eliza Fletcher’s father, James Beasley Wellford, and mourners gather at the Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.
(Matt Symons for Fox News Digital)

Fletcher, 34, was running near the University of Memphis campus around 4:30 a.m. Sept. 2 when she was abducted and murdered, allegedly at the hands of a stranger named Cleotha Henderson. Henderson, who has a violent criminal past, has since been charged several times, including first-degree murder, premeditated murder and murder in committing kidnappings, among other counts including aggravated kidnapping and tampering/fabrication of evidence.

Loved ones and the Memphis community will gather on Saturday morning to bid farewell to Tennessee teacher and mother Eliza Fletcher.

Loved ones and the Memphis community will gather on Saturday morning to bid farewell to Tennessee teacher and mother Eliza Fletcher.
(Matt Symons for Fox News Digital)

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people gathered in the early hours of Friday morning to finish Fletcher’s run after it was tragically cut short.

Mourners gather at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.

Mourners gather at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.
(Matt Symons for Fox News Digital)

“We are here today to honor Liza and finish her run,” event organizer Danielle Heineman told the participants.

Mourners gather at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.

Mourners gather at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 10, 2022, for the funeral service for Eliza Fletcher.
(Matt Symons for Fox News Digital)

“We are here today just to run in honor of Liza, and also to show that women in this city have the right to run at 4 a.m. or 10 a.m. or any time of the day.” Heineman said. . “And we don’t have to cover our bodies completely while we run. There should be no excuses.”

Fletcher was a married mother of two and a descendant of the Orgill fortune. She was a junior kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School and had previously taught at the Promise Academy.

An obituary released in her memory describes her as “committed” to her work and her students.

Eliza Fletcher with her family in an undated photo of the funeral home;  Eliza Fletcher poses for a selfie.

Eliza Fletcher with her family in an undated photo of the funeral home; Eliza Fletcher poses for a selfie.
(Canale Funeral Directors; Liza Fletcher/Instagram)

“As with everything Liza took on, she fed and cared for her students with all her heart,” the obituary reads. “She believed strongly in the importance of personal growth and was not afraid to be vulnerable. On the contrary, she embraced it.”

It also describes the young mother as a “born athlete.”

“Liza’s passion for sports has stretched from youth teams to collegiate competition to excellence in marathons in adulthood,” according to the obituary. “She found great pleasure in her morning runs with friends. She channeled her competitive nature into enthusiastic participation in everything she undertook.”

Fletcher was one who “shaped the Christian life and trusted in her unshakable faith.”

The page adds: “Her impact is extraordinary, as evidenced by the prayer groups, vigils held with friends and family, church and school gatherings, and memorial runs and walks held in her honor. The outpouring of love and sorrow would have taken Liza by surprise, who never thought or pretended to be something special – although she certainly was.”

MEMPHIS JOGGER SUSPECT LAWYER CLEOTHA HENDERSON SEEKS GAG ORDER AS ELIZA FLETCHER’S FAMILY RELEASE OPERATION

Liza Fletcher, a 34-year-old teacher and mother of two who died during her morning jog last week, will be buried on Saturday.

Liza Fletcher, a 34-year-old teacher and mother of two who died during her morning jog last week, will be buried on Saturday.
(Jennifer Sink/Facebook, Memphis Police)

But her “most cherished role,” says the obituary, “was that of wife and mother.”

ELIZA FLETCHER MURDER SUSPECT CLEOTHA ABSTON’S AMAZING HISTORY OF RAPE, ATTACK AND KIDNAP EXPLAINED

“Liza was a light to everyone who knew her,” it continues. “Her infectious smile and laughter can brighten up any room. Liza was pure of heart and innocent in a way that allowed her to see the very best in everyone she met. To know her was to love and be loved by her.”

Eliza Fletcher's husband, Richie Fletcher III, works as a dealer manager for a Memphis boat center and was previously a coast guard mechanic.

Eliza Fletcher’s husband, Richie Fletcher III, works as a dealer manager for a Memphis boat center and was previously a coast guard mechanic.
(Liza Fletcher/Instagram)

Details of the tragedy that befell Fletcher were scarce, and police don’t have issued information about how she died or the motive behind the attack.

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Deputy Attorney General Steve Mulroy said on Tuesday that investigators had “no reason to think this was anything but a” isolated attack by a stranger.He did not disclose a possible motive.

Fletcher’s family has requested memorials in the form of contributions to the Liza Wellford Fletcher Memorial Fund at St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Christ Methodist Day School and Second Presbyterian Church.



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