Community holds candlelit vigil for Pomeroy

Friends of Rachel Pomeroy attended a candlelit vigil on Thursday, Jan. 12,  on the rooftop of Terrell Library.

WSU students and community members shared laughter, hugs and tears Thursday night as they came together above the Holland-Terrell Library to remember WSU student Rachel Pomeroy.

Pomeroy died in a car crash Sunday afternoon on Highway 26, just outside of Washtucna, while on her way back to Pullman.

Juniors Kaylee Lawrence and Brianna Parmentier planned the vigil to remember the life and impact Pomeroy had on those she knew in her life. Despite the freezing temperature, over 50 people were in attendance.

“We wanted to share stories; share love not sadness,” Lawrence, Pomeroy’s roommate, said.

Country music filled the air as attendees arrived and shared their condolences with one another while waiting for the vigil to start. A framed photo of Pomeroy was laid out and was surrounded by candles placed by Lawrence, Parmentier and others who attended the vigil.

Many of the candles were colorful and scented in honor of Pomeroy, who loved them.

“One of the things Rachel couldn’t get enough of was scented candles,” Parmentier noted.

Those present took turns sharing their favorite memories and what they loved about Pomeroy. One person in attendance even took a Facebook Live video of the event.

One attendee who shared her memory of Pomeroy was junior microbiology major Nelly Avila.

“She made sure to always brighten your day,” Avila said. “She was an amazing and free spirit.”

Avila told the crowd that Pomeroy was the type of person,who would treat everyone like her best friend, even if she did not know them well.

“She was the most caring person in the whole wide world,” Avila said.

Firefighters from Firehouse 3 of Moscow were also in attendance, standing in solidarity with firefighter Jack Ray, Pomeroy’s boyfriend who was unable to be in attendance.

Mitch Nunes, a Moscow firefighter, spoke on behalf of Ray.

“I was lucky enough to be there when Rachel first came around.” Nunes said. “She made (Jack) the man he is today.”

A GoFundMe has been created in memory of Pomeroy to help with funding her memorial. As of Thursday night, the GoFundMe has raised reached its $20,000 goal.

A Booster fund selling t-shirts has also been created in her honor. All proceeds of the t-shirt sale, priced at $21 each, will go to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Pomeroy aspired to be a pediatric nurse, and those who love her want to “carry on her legacy,” Nunes said. Her funeral is planned for Jan. 21st.