Funeral for Bellevue woman shot by cafe gunman

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by LINDSAY CHAMBERLAIN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 7 at 5:17 PM

The woman who was shot and killed last week on First Hill as she fought against the gunman was remembered as a spirited New Yorker with a insatiable love of life and family.

The funeral for Gloria Leonidas was held at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Seattle at 11:00 a.m. Thursday. A private grave site service followed at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Bellevue. (Scroll to bottom of page to see the memorial service program.)

"She was who she was and she didn't mind telling you right to your face!" Rev. Father Photios Dumont said during her eulogy, mustering nods and a few laughs from the parish.

Leonidas, 52, leaves behind a husband, Tom, and two daughters, Christina and Sophia.

Known by colleagues as a lighting expert, Gloria was trained as an electrician before her career took off in New York, earning her national attention. There she worked on the relighting of the Statue of Liberty and met her husband while serving as the chapter president of the Illuminating Engineering Society. In 1989, she was in Berlin the night the Berlin Wall was torn down.

After the couple moved to Seattle 1992, she continued to work with lighting design while devoting time to volunteering, including 10 years of service to the board of the Evergreen Health Care Foundation.

Father Dumont said Gloria would have wanted others to focus on her life and not her death.

"There has been so much cohesiveness and community love and outpouring from this tragedy that it's overwhelming to me," he said. "God really is in control."

Friends and family filled the church for the traditional Greek Orthodox service and filed past her open casket to pay their final respects.

Leonidas and four other people were murdered by Ian Stawicki on May 30 after he was told to leave the Cafe Racer on Roosevelt Way. Stawicki returned, and opened fire, killing Drew Keriakedes, Joe Albanese, Kimberly Layfield, and Don Largen.

He then fled to First Hill where he encountered Leonidas outside the Town Hall Seattle at 8th Avenue and Seneca. Staff members inside Town Hall said they saw Leonidas fight back against Stawicki when he attempted to steal her car.

The employees at Town Hall created a memorial for Leonidas -- a bright beam of light that shines at night on the place where she died.

Cafe Racer chef Leonard Meuse was wounded in the shooting and recently released from the ICU at Harborview.

Westboro Baptist Church plans protest

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church publicized that they would protest outside Leonidas' funeral. The group appeared  in Olympia Thursday morning protesting Referendum 74 and Washington's gay marriage law.

Concert, fundraiser for victims' families

There will be a concert at Seattle's Neptune Theatre at 8:00 p.m. Thursday to remember the victims of last Wednesday's shooting.

Tickets are $15 and will go toward financial assistance for victims' family members, a memorial fund and possibly scholarships in the victims' names.

Among many bands, the concert will feature musical performances from Circus Contraption and God's Favorite Beefcake, two bands in which victims Drew Keriakedes and Joe Albanese played in.

Leonidas Memorial Program 060712

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