CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The funeral service Monday for Myra Thompson, one of nine victims of a deadly shooting at a Charleston church, was filled with hymns and scriptures.
Those who knew her say it's likely just what Thompson, who had just received her license to minister the night she was killed, would want.
"She was a sweet, loving woman," Saliciae Wright, a cousin of Thompson's, said.
"It's just so surreal," Cindy Smalls, a long-time friend since high school, said.
Thompson was a teacher in the Charleston County School District, teaching Reading and Language Arts at Cathedral Catholic and Brentwood Middle Schools.
"She's a wonderful person to me," Smalls said. "Always smiling, just a pleasure, and when she came in the room, you knew that she was there because she spoke to everyone."
Her outgoing personality was part of the reason she succeeded in teaching.
Beyond that, she had a love for God, teaching bible study and eventually answering his call to become a minister.
Members of Thompson's family spoke during the service including her son and daughter.
"It hurts me real bad, but I know God will take care of it," Earl Wright, Thompson's uncle, said.
"Just seeing someone one day and then the next thing you know they're not there anymore, it just brings you to reality," Smalls added.
The mission now is to make sure Thompson's memory is never forgotten.
Members of her husband's church, Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal, honored her memory Monday morning in a touching way.
"We dedicated a prayer garden to Mrs. Thompson, located at 51 Bull Street," Terance Edwards, a member of Holy Trinity REC, said. "If anyone wants to come by and visit the back yard is open and you can come and take a look."
Members also lined up outside Mother Emanuel AME Church to pay their respects and show support for the family.
"We'll be supporting him when we can and doing whatever is requested of the family," Edwards said. "Holy Trinity has been there, and we will be there for him and his family during this time as well."
Others, meanwhile, will try to remember her in other ways.
"I have pictures of us together," Smalls said. "So I will always treasure that."
"I thank God for the time she was here," Wright said.
Thompson was an active member of Mother Emanuel, serving on the church property committee, a Children's Church instructor, and Elevator Construction Committee among many positions.
In addition to her husband, she leaves two children.