BEAVERTON, Ore. - Family and friends of Nicole Laube, the Forest Grove mom murdered last week, remembered her Thursday night in an emotional service as police continue their search for her killer.
The day would have also been Nicole's fourth wedding anniversary to her husband, Chris, who gave her a final anniversary gift at her memorial service.
"Death cannot kill what never dies," said Chris Laube, reciting part of a poem by William Penn. Chris was the final speaker at the celebration. He celebrated their love and her life with a few words, and a photo slideshow he created that chronicled the years they spent together.
"Nicole was a beautiful woman, a loving wife, an amazing mother, and a friend to all. She was not afraid to share her faith or opinion with anyone," Chris said.
Many of the hundreds of people who attended Nicole's service at Southwest Bible Church in Beaverton likely also attended her wedding to Chris on Aug. 28, 2010. They knew her overcoming Kawasaki Disease as a child, as a determined athlete on the track and in the weight room, and as a cancer survivor.
But, Chris knew her best as an adult.
"Her goal was to make sure she left this world a better place. And I look to her right now and tell her, you've succeeded," he said.
Now, he doesn't have a partner. Their toddler son, Ethan, and her 9-year-old daughter, Avia will grow up without a mother, and his two daughters miss out on having a step-mother. But, they'll know who she was and how many lives she touched.
"Happy Anniversary babe, I love you. I miss you, and I'll always be thankful for the time we had together," Chris said speaking to Nicole.
Before Chris spoke, Nicole's parents, Pastor Rich and Jordi Jones, shared memories of their daughter.
"I want to say thank you to God for holding our daughter in heaven," Pastor Jones said.
Close family friends also shared memories of Nicole. And her siblings, two younger sisters and two younger brothers, shared their memories through written letters.
"She taught me the importance of familyshe taught me to make the most out of life," sister Chelesa wrote.
As Chris, and the rest of Nicole's family, struggles to understand why someone stabbed her to death last week, they take comfort in remembering the twinkle in her eyes, and the life lessons of determination and grace she left behind.
Nicole's father told the crowd their family has received messages of love and support from people they don't know at churches across the country, and from people across the Portland area. Jones thanked everyone who has prayed, and continues to pray, for the family.
He also made a plea to the public for anyone with any information about his daughter's murder to contact the Washington County Sheriff's office. Nicole's family is determined to find her killer and see that justice is served for her.
"Somebody has information. Somebody knows something. Would you call?" Pastor Jones said.