ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - It was a heartfelt night filled with song and memories. People sharing stories about their favorite moments. All the while, the pain was hovering just below the surface.
From the pulpit, a doctor Julie Taylor worked with for decades pushed through the tears.
“I will always miss Julie,” the doctor said.
They came to honor a colleague, a friend, a member of a family. The Magnolia Room in Rock Hill nearly filled to capacity with people who wanted to say goodbye, even though they weren’t ready.
“This one hit home, it really did, and I was just blown away.” a friend said.
Rock Hill police say they were called to Julie Taylor’s home on Winding Way, after family members found her shot to death laying on her couch.
Her estranged husband, 47-year-old Christopher J. Taylor, was arrested and charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Even though friends say they knew she was dealing with a divorce from her estranged spouse, no one thought it could get to this point.
Cherish Benton, a friend of Taylor’s for 23 years, was shocked to hear the news.
“You just don’t want to believe that your husband is going to do something like this. I mean, the person that is supposed to love you," Benton said. "None of us saw it coming at all. In fact, about four years ago a big group of us went to the Bahamas and we all stayed together in the same house. And they got a long just fine. I never heard of any domestic abuse at all.”
Julie filed for divorce and even took precautions for her own safety.
“She did change the locks. And she filed for an order of protection. But that’s a piece of paper” said Benton. “If you have a controlling spouse, or boyfriend, and you don’t have a say, and you don’t have a voice, that’s a red flag.”
Friends describe her as loyal, funny and unfiltered. Someone that would leave you with a smile, a trait so desperately needed in her line of work as a nurse at Piedmont Medical Center.
“At first she was very quiet, at first. Until she got to know you. Then Julie just became Julie.” her pastor said as he addressed the crowd.
As the memories came, so did the tears. Candles were lit, hands were held and everyone took a deep breath, wishing they could hear her laugh one more time.
The family is collecting donations on this GoFundMe link.