The family of an armoured car guard gunned down on the job in Edmonton earlier this month celebrated her life today.
Mourners filled two rooms of a downtown a funeral home Tuesday afternoon to mark the passing of Michelle Shegelski, 26, one of four G4S armoured truck guards shot on June 15 while refilling bank machines at HUB Mall on the University of Alberta campus.
Shegelski's mother, Cheryl Ernst, extolled Michelle's love of writing and reading.
One of Shegelski's goals was to make up a word that eventually made it to the dictionary, Ernst said in her eulogy. She also marvelled at her daughter's zest for living, telling mourners, "She lived life at a million miles an hour."
Shegelski's husband, Victor, spoke about the day the two met. "She was strong, courageous," he said.
He spoke about Michelle's "philosophical mind" and "diabolical wit." She was the "the perfect teammate," he said.
"Our future was planned full of adventure, glory and pirate treasure," he said. "I can say without a doubt that our wedding was the best day of our lives."
"We had something I once never thought existed and I can only thank her for giving me that. She renewed emotions I once buried in me and made me feel a confidence a man only feels with the perfect woman at his side."
Shegelski recalled the time when, as a younger woman, his wife wrote, "When I grow up, I want to be capable. I want someone to say 'That's a woman.'"
He ended his eulogy by gesturing toward the casket and exclaiming, "Ladies and gentlemen, that's a woman!"
The funeral was officiated by Marcia Loder, who presided at the couple's wedding in April.
"Michelle is wearing her wedding dress today. She was a practical person and would have seized any opportunity to wear her wedding dress again," Loder said.
"Her family thought it best to have her wear the gown she wore on the happiest day of her life."
The funeral was attended by uniformed members of the military, sheriffs and emergency medical services.
Eddie Rejano, 39, and Brian Ilesic, 35, also died in the robbery, while Matthew Schuman survived and remains in hospital recovering from critical head injuries.
Their co-worker, Travis Baumgartner, faces three charges of first-degree murder, one charge of attempted murder and four counts of robbery with a firearm in relation to the shootings.