Dad RANDALL TODD MOORE is charged with kidnapping and murdering his "estranged" wife, leaving their 8-month-old baby without a mother. There was a history of domestic violence, and the wife had obtained a restraining order the month before.
Mom was a veteran who had survived a 2008 tour of Iraq--only to die in the USA.
Relatives, friends bury Des Moines shooting victim in Duncan
By DANIEL P. FINNEY • email@example.com • November 16, 2009
Duncan, Ia. – A relative held 8-month-old Levi Lynch close to her chest inside the tiny brick St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Duncan on Monday.
At the front of the sanctuary sat a black casket covered in a white funeral pall. Inside was the body of Levi’s mother, TereseAnn Lynch.
The infant was quiet, small and innocent as he sucked on a pacifier. He couldn’t have understood why the more than 350 people around him wore faces twisted in grief as they tried making sense of the senseless.
Levi’s mom was 30 years old when she was gunned down. His father, Randall Todd Moore, 38, is accused of kidnapping and murdering his estranged wife, TereseAnn, last week.
“We are stunned, shocked and we are angry, rightfully so, at this horrific and cowardly act,” said the Rev. Brian Dellaert, one of two Catholic priests presiding at the services. “This was not God’s plan for TereseAnn. This is a chilling reminder that we live in a broken world.”
Court records show Moore had a history of domestic violence. Levi’s mother sought protection from him last month. She got a restraining order. She moved herself and her son away from Moore. She couldn’t save herself, but she saved Levi, Rev. Dellaert said.
“She lost her life to protect,” her son, the priest said.
Years from now, Levi is going to ask the same question all those people in that church did Monday. “Why?”
“We are left with that stinging question,” Dellaert said. “We will never understand on this side of heaven.”
TereseAnn Lynch was born in Fairmont, Minn., and grew up in Hancock County between Garner and Duncan.
TereseAnn followed several family members into the military. She was a technical sergeant in the Iowa Air National Guard. She went to war for her country three times, the last being a 2008 tour of duty in Iraq.
She also worked for the Iowa Department of Human Services. Her last job was helping young children and mothers recover lost child support payments.
“She loved working with underprivileged families and children,” Dellaert said. “She lived a life of service and sacrifice.”
The priest recalled TereseAnn growing up nurturing her two younger brothers — and later competing against them in races on foot and bicycle.
“TereseAnn was not going to let her small stature or being a girl stop her,” Dellaert said. “She was going to show those boys she could keep up.”
As they rolled the casket down the aisle covered in thick red carpet, her family followed, Levi in their arms. The agony of each step was etched in their faces during the short walk.
A couple hours later, the motorcyclists of the Patriot Guard Riders escorted the body of Levi’s mom to her final resting spot at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in nearby Bancroft, where she received full military honors from the Offutt Air Force Base Honor Guard in Omaha.
Levi won’t remember Monday.
Levi might not even remember his mother’s face, the smile her friends said could light up a room or her sparkling blue eyes.
Levi may never make sense of how his mom died.
Perhaps, though, Rev. Dellaert’s words will offer the boy some comfort.
“She will always be bright, young and beautiful in our memories,” the priest said. “We believe that death is not the end and (God) will restore everything we have lost.”