Friday, November 10, 2017

Ole Miss professor laid to rest

University of Mississippi's Paris-Yates chapel
"Paris-Yates Chapel" photo by Matthew Nichols is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Kimberly Pace, 35, was laid to rest in Oxford Cemetery this afternoon after a memorial service at the Paris-Yates Chapel on the university campus.

Many of Dr. Pace's co-workers from the English department faculty, along with other Ole Miss professors, were in attendance. Pace's friends and students also turned out in large numbers to pay their respects.

The brief ceremony featured eulogies given by close friend Jeremy Gladwell, as well as colleagues Dr. Dan Johnson, chairman of the University of Mississippi English Department, and Dr. Philip Lee.

The eulogists praised Pace's dedication to her students and spoke of the profound sense of loss that everyone who knew her felt over her untimely and tragic death.

Earlier this week, the Yoknapatawpha County Coroner's Office ruled Pace's death a homicide, shocking the Oxford community and University faculty. Members of the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department were present at the funeral services but declined to comment on the status of the investigation.

Pace is survived by her mother, Valerie, and her sister, Rebecca. While Valerie Pace was reportedly too ill to attend the funeral services, Rebecca Pace was accompanied by her sister's boyfriend, Paul Evans. Both appeared to be overwhelmed by emotion and refused to speak with reporters.

In the closing moments of the service, Gladwell urged mourners to focus not on how Kimberly Pace died, but how she lived.

"Kimberly was all about making the most of every experience and every encounter. She never missed an opportunity to help a friend, to connect with a stranger, to take a chance on someone."

"We can honor her life and keep her alive in our hearts by conducting ourselves the way she would have. Never let a disagreement or a misunderstanding come between you and the people you care about. Reach out to anyone who seems lost or alone. Savor the joy in each moment."

The family asks that donations be made to the University of Mississippi English Department in lieu of flowers.

By Kemper Jones at 5:15 PM

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