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.
- Local News
- Consult resources before adopting child Q: I've heard that you were abandoned and orphaned as a child, and that Focus on the Family is encouraging adoption through the foster care system. Can you provide my spouse and me with any guidance, or suggest any resources as we consider adopting a
- Delph's reelection not a foregone conclusion INDIANAPOLIS Mike Delph is a Republican state senator from Carmel, but he is well known to Republicans throughout the state. The evangelical conservative ran for secretary of state in 2002, losing at the Republican convention. Three years later, he w
- YOU SHOULD KNOW: David and Pat Boothby GOSHEN -- David and Pat Boothby are thoroughly enjoying their retirement. The couple says they are busier now than when they both were working because they have time to pick and choose their activities, which includes spending time with their two gr
- How Web search optimization has changed You're familiar with searching for things online. Whether a question you have, or a product you want, or for doing cost comparisons. In fact, the word "Google" has become a verb for doing an online search. You've likely heard this before, "just googl
- Changed wording delays debate on right to hunt, fish INDIANAPOLIS – A much-debated ban on same-sex marriage wasn’t the only proposed constitutional amendment to get knocked off this November’s ballot. Gone, too, is the less contentious proposal to protect Hoosiers’ right to hunt and fish.
- Third House: Opponents blast firearm bill GOSHEN — More protection or increased risk? Cathie Cripe views a measure approved by Indiana lawmakers as leading to the latter.
- 'Live & Local' events get warm welcome as weather relents GOSHEN — Frankie Copeland sat a table drinking a cup of coffee, enjoying the music and fellowship with her friend, Esther Deal.
- GC earns state radio honor three-peat GOSHEN – For the third consecutive year, Goshen College was named Radio School of the Year in the 2014 Indiana Association of School Broadcasting’s (IASB) college broadcasting competition.
UPDATE: Westview student in critical condition after crash
A Westview High School student remained in critical condition Friday afternoon following a two-vehicle crash Thursday in LaGrange County.
Jaid Rex, 16, was listed in critical at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne. Her sister, Mikayla Rex, 18, was listed in fair condition Friday.
- Human uniqueness focus of religion and science conference GOSHEN — Goshen College’s 14th annual Conference on Science and Religion will take place March 14-16. The featured speaker will be Joshua M. Moritz, lecturer of philosophical theology and the natural sciences at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of San Francisco and managing editor of the journal Theology and Science.
- More Local News Headlines