NILES, Mich. —
God gained a wonderful angel — and she was amazing.
These words describe how Julia Ramirez of South Bend felt about Millicent Morros, who was gunned down Monday morning by her ex-boyfriend John Eric Haitsma on North Fifth Street while walking to work in downtown Goshen. Haitsma then took his own life.
“She was a very dear friend and she will be missed,” Ramirez said, with tears in her eyes outside Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles Friday evening. “She was loyal and I have very few friends who are loyal like she was. It’s hard. She was amazing.”
Ramirez, a friend and former co-worker of Morros, also described her as someone who didn’t mince words and someone to go to for advice.
Ramirez was just one of many family members and friends who made the sad trip to the funeral home. Once there, those who knew Morros best shed tears and shared hugs and laughter while sharing special moments about her 48 years of life.
Another of those people was Chris Gobble of Elkhart who worked with Morros at Yoder, Ainley, Ulmer & Buckingham law office in downtown Goshen.
“She was so much fun. She loved to tease and joke. She had a great sense of humor and would say the unexpected and make you laugh,” Gobble said. “She was very down to earth and natural. She was an outgoing people person. She was loved by everyone. It’s tragic what happened.”
Dawn Fein of Niles worked with Morros at the former Sheller-Globe Plant in Niles and recalled how friends would call her “Red” because of the color of her hair.
“She was a lot of fun. We always had a lot of fun,” Fein said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her and was shocked at what happened. It’s tragic the way she died. She was nice and I liked her.”
There were neighbors who grew up next to Morros who paid their respects, including Corey Hojara of Niles. He described her as being loud and opinionated while having fun.
“She would tell you what she thought, whether it hurt your feelings or not,” Hojara said. “She didn’t worry what other people thought.”
Geneva Green of Niles was another neighbor to the family and described Morros as being a “good kid, who grew up to be special and good.”
Alan Hunt of Niles lived next door to Morros and was shocked at the family experiencing another tragic loss. He referred to a similar incident when her older sister, Valorie, was shot and killed in 1990 at the age of 26 along with her boyfriend by her ex-boyfriend, who then killed himself as police closed in.
“I cannot believe this tragedy happening twice to the same people. They are a quiet and happy people,” Hunt said. “We would play football and other sports. They raised baby deer and we would feed them. They raised rabbits and had all kinds of animals.”
And Cindy McCall of Niles went to school with her brother and described Morros as being “a sweet person,” McCall said. “She was a real sweet girl.”
Lisa Popielski and Victoria Burkhart, both of South Bend, also shared their feelings about their former co-worker.
“She was more than a trusted co-worker. She was truly a friend. We remained friends and kept in contact through the years,” Popielsksi said, with tears in her eyes. “If I hadn’t lost my job, I wouldn’t have met Millicent. Everything happens for a reason. She was great to work with.”
Dennis Butler of Elkhart was just getting to know Morros after dating her for one month. He met her family for the first time at the visitation, he said.
“She was feisty, determined and headstrong. And she was always about improving herself and couldn’t wait to finish her bachelor’s degree,” Butler said. “She lit up a room and she was a class clown.”
He said the couple was talking Sunday evening and Morros shared the story about her older sister and what happened to her. “Then she told me, ‘Tomorrow is never promised, so love who you can love today.’
“We were still sharing all the stories. I keep talking how blessed I am to have known her the short time I did,” Butler said.” I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”
NILES, Mich. —
God gained a wonderful angel — and she was amazing.
- Breaking News
- Kulp is new Goshen softball coach Brent Kulp was hired as the new Goshen High School softball coach at Monday night’s school board meeting. He was a physical education and health teacher in the Baugo Community Schools for 18 years and head softball coach at Jimtown High School for 15 seasons. Under his direction, Jimtown earned five Northern State Conference championships, five sectional titles and two regional titles and his teams compiled an overall record of 285-133-1.
- Middlebury man burned in water heater blast â€© MIDDLEBURY — Authorities say a Middlebury man has been hospitalized after he was injured when a water heater exploded. Firefighters tell WSBT-TV the man in his 20s was trying to light a water heater that had run out of gas and used too much fuel. The
Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage
After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.
Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber
Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.
Red Cross in urgent need of donors
The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.
Huron Street residents under boil order
Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.
- LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to
Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area
A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.
Cat beaten to death in burglary
A house cat was found beaten to death following a burglary at a home in Howe Sunday.
Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster
A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.
- More Breaking News Headlines