Memorial for UCC victim shows strength of her community

Myrtle Creek, Ore — One of the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting was memorialized in a private ceremony Wednesday.

Those at the ceremony say her kindness and caring was an inspiration that will last long after her passing.

Just a few days after a service memorialized 44-year-old Sarena Dawn Moore, friends family and even complete strangers gathered in Myrtle Creek to remember a life lost during the Umpqua Community College shooting.

“The peacefulness of this valley was really shattered last Thursday morning,” said Pastor Chester Schurch.

After moving to Douglas County from Grants Pass several years ago, Sarena Dawn Moore sought guidance through her church in Myrtle Creek.

“There was a spiritual food that she sought here that I think helped her out the most,” said Schurch.

Nearly a week after her life was taken by a gunman while she attended class, Moore was remembered by her family and her pastor Chester Schurch as a kind and giving soul.

“everyone, without fail told the story of how she had touched their life and how it wouldn’t be the same without her,” said Schurch.

Moore called Myrtle Creek home, a tight knit community struck by tragedy twice, losing both Moore and South Umpqua High graduate Rebecca Carnes on the same day.

“She was a lovely person, everyone speaks very highly, her energy to go through school and better her education,” said Christine Goodwin of Carnes.

A tragedy that Christine Goodwin says will only make Myrtle Creek stronger.

“We will move on from this, we will continue to be a strong minded community.”

That’s the resilience Schurch saw in Moore, a glimmer of hope that could never be put out.

“They always looked to her as a spiritual person and they appreciated that part of her,” said Schurch.

A statement from Moore’s family reads: Sarena will be missed for many reasons but the one that stands out most is that Sarena had a caring heart that was bigger than life itself.

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Matt Jordan
Matt Jordan is the Chief Meteorologist for KOBI-TV NBC5. Matt joined the NBC5 weather team in 2014 after a year as a reporter and anchor in Alexandria, Louisiana. His experience with the severe weather of the Deep South and a love of the Pacific Northwest led him to pursue a certification with Mississippi State University as a Broadcast Meteorologist. You can find Matt working in the evenings of NBC5 News at 5, 6 and 11 as well as online. Matt also has a degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. In addition to being passionate about news and weather, Matt is a HUGE Oregon Ducks fan. When not rooting for the Ducks or tracking down the next storm over the Pacific, Matt can be found outdoors in the Oregon wilderness with his wife and their German Shepherd named Stanley.
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