CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Cynthia Hurd was looking forward to retirement.
For 31 years, she worked as a librarian in Charleston County, most recently as manager at St. Andrews Regional Library.
On June 17, Hurd, also a wife and sister, was among nine people killed at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. She was just four days shy of her 55th birthday.
Saturday, hundreds gathered at Mother Emanuel to celebrate her life. Among the crowd was United States Congressman Jim Clyburn, who said of Hurd, "she was my daughter's best friend."
"Nobody here thought we would ever see a day like this in Charleston. but what we have come to grips with is these things happen, and sometimes they happen in your homeland," Clyburn said.
Hurd's funeral service was the first held at the church since a lone gunman took the lives of nine of it's members.
The Charleston County Public Library closed all 16 branches Saturday, in honor of the home going service, allowing many of Hurd's colleagues to attend.
Family members have also established the Cynthia Graham Hurd Memorial Fund. Money donated will be used to promote educational programming at the John L. Dart Branch Library and the St. Andrews Regional Library, both of which are branches where Hurd once worked.