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Publish Date: 4/14/2005

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Family of Mary Jane Meining comfort each other during her funeral Wednesday at LifeBridge Christian Church in Longmont. Meining, 78, was found slain in her Platteville home Friday after missing a bridge club meeting. Times-Call/Erin McCracken

Many mourn slain woman
600 attend funeral; still no leads in Weld death


LONGMONT — Mary Jane Meining lived a humble, quiet and faithful life.

Forty family members and nearly 560 others remembered that as they mourned the death of their longtime friend at LifeBridge Christian Church on Wednesday morning — five days after the 78-year-old woman was killed.

“We are living in a broken-down world,” LifeBridge’s senior pastor, Rick Rusaw, said during the eulogy. “Sometimes some of the ugly stuff makes its way to our doorstep.”

Meining was found dead at her Platteville home by one of her five sons Friday when she didn’t show up for a bridge club meeting. Weld County sheriff’s investigators have said the killing is probably connected with a Friday burglary about a mile and a half away from the Meining’s farm — $9,000 in jewelry and loose change were taken from the high-end home — but they have no leads and no suspects.

Since then, Meining’s friends and close-knit family have been struggling with the loss of a woman they say was one of the kindest who ever lived. Meining is survived by her sons, 10 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and her husband, Don Meining, whom she married 57 years ago.

“We grieve for our loss, for Don and his family,” Rusaw said, noting that Wednesday’s funeral was also a celebration of Meining’s life.

Before the service began and twice during the funeral, sweet chords of country-western gospel music played. As Rusaw began the service, the last lines of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” faded, and he told the congregation there was no better song to remember Meining by.

He then reminded the congregation of the 23rd Psalm, in which King David writes that the Lord makes him lie down in green pastures, leads him beside still waters and restores his soul.

“The implication is that there are times when the waters aren’t calm,” Rusaw said. “David says we are not left alone in the middle of this. ... As dark and cold and unfair as the valley is today, God wants to come with us, if we will reach out to him. The Meinings need you today and not just today.

“Your mom — and Don, your wife — would say to you, ‘Keep loving. Keep laughing. You have each other. This pain, while it will always be with you, will be diminished with the strength of family and friends.’

“Mary Jane would have us live.”

Jenn Ooton can be reached at 303-684-5295, or by e-mail at jooton@times-call.com.

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