Blair County shooting victim remembered as caring, loving
Every few weeks, Kimberly Scott would meet up with members of her card club and play Pinochle.
Scott and seven other women grew to be great friends during nearly 35 years of playing. Members of the club gathered Monday at Martinsburg Grace Brethren Church to bid Scott a final goodbye.
“They are a strong, close-knit group; they are sisters,” said funeral director John Bolger, whose wife was friends with Scott for three decades.
Scott, 58, of rural Duncansville, was gunned down Friday as she decorated Juniata Valley Gospel Church for a children's Christmas party. In a seemingly random act of violence, the Blair County woman and two men were victims of a shooting spree Friday morning along Juniata Valley Road, just east of Hollidaysburg.
Bolger read a “collective thought” from the card club during Scott's funeral.
“As a friend, no one was more caring or loving. Kim loved her family and her church so much,” he read. “We got together every few weeks not just to play Pinochle. Many times we were shoulders to lean on for each other. Other times our hearts were lifted with news of joy and laughter. Some nights, not much card playing was done.”
About 160 people attended the service that was marked by tears and shared memories. Many recalled Scott's love for baking — peach pies, carrot cakes and peanut butter brownies.
“You will recall her laugh, her smile,” said the Rev. Brian McCall, church pastor. “Some will consider her love of hummingbirds.”
But Scott's finest quality was her “giving spirit and selflessness,” McCall said, his voice catching multiple times while he spoke.
The church was decorated for Christmas with white lights, red candles and large green wreaths. Red and white flowers surrounded Scott's casket. Mourners stepped out of the service into a gray sky and fast-flying snowflakes.
McCall addressed the violence that beset the village of Geeseytown on Friday morning. Juniata Valley Road was closed for much of Friday after Jeffrey Lee Michael fatally shot three people, including Scott, and fired at three state troopers, injuring them, before troopers killed him, according to investigators.
“Many of you came here today asking the question, ‘Why?,' McCall said. “I'm sorry that I can't answer that question for you.
“What I can tell you is that we live in a broken world,” he said. “A world filled with broken people, and that brokenness sometimes erupts into evil and violence.”
He asked mourners to use their faith to transition from the “pain and uncertainty of now to the peace, comfort and understanding of then.”
Mourners sang “Amazing Grace.” A woman read the poem, “My First Christmas in Heaven.”
Bolger passed around a microphone so family and friends could share memories of Scott. Some recalled her as a loving, giving and generous person while another admired Scott because she treated her mothers-in-law well.
Scott worked for 36 years at Condrin Oldsmobile-Cadillac-Subaru in Altoona and Condrin Chevrolet in Cresson, according to her obituary. She served as treasurer at Juniata Valley Gospel Church.
She is survived by husband, Ed Scott, a son, three grandchildren, her parents, five sisters and a brother.
Services for victims Kenneth D. Lynn, 60, and his son-in-law, William H. Rhodes Jr., 38, both of rural Hollidaysburg, are scheduled for Thursday.
Investigators said Jeffrey Lee Michael entered Juniata Valley Gospel Church early Friday and killed Scott before he drove along Juniata Valley Road and fatally shot Lynn in his driveway and Rhodes at a stop sign. Family members have said Lynn and Rhodes were going Christmas shopping.
While responding to an emergency call, three state troopers encountered Michael, who they said was armed and driving a pickup truck on the rural Blair County road.
Michael shot at them, injuring two troopers, before ramming his truck into the patrol car driven by a third trooper. The troopers shot and killed Michael.
Investigators ruled Michael's death a justifiable homicide.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.