Hundreds gather to celebrate the life of Haruka Weiser - KPTV - FOX 12

Hundreds gather to celebrate the life of Haruka Weiser

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Haruka Weiser (Family photo provided to FOX 12) Haruka Weiser (Family photo provided to FOX 12)
BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

With nearly every seat filled, hundreds of flowers and so many more tears, a grieving family and community said goodbye to Haruka Weiser Saturday morning at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Beaverton. 

“We wake up in the morning and are just struggling to accept that this is reality because it seems so indescribable, so incomprehensible that this could actually have happened," neighbor Cheron Calder said. "But it did happen and here we are.”

Weiser was murdered earlier this month and her body was found in a creek near the University of Texas campus where the 18-year-old was a student. Police arrested 17-year-old Meechaiel Criner.

More than 500 people attended the public service, many of them personally knew Haruka and wanted to pay respects, mourn the loss and celebrate the young dancer’s life.

High school friend Savannah Panah took stage singing a couple of Haruka’s favorite songs.

“Hopefully through this people will just remember what a beautiful soul she was,” Panah said.

And they certainly did: holding one another close, wiping tears and laughing so much. 

Haruka’s younger brother, Noboru Weiser, told many funny stories about his sister — recalling one occasion when the pair jumped off a diaper-changing station to make their younger sister laugh. He also described a smart vibrant teen who loved baking, shopping at the Goodwill, and of course dancing.

She had received a dancing scholarship to the University of Texas last year.

Through his own pain, Noboru Weiser also offered comfort to others.

"Haruka will live on forever because love never dies,” Weiser said. 

She’s remembered as a beautiful dancer who touched so many.

“She was a very hard-working girl, she was so passionate,” Panah said. “Just remembering how much I wanted to be like that — just to be so motivated.”

Friends and family gathered for a candlelight vigil on April 17 at the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy where she had been a student for 6 years.

The Haruka Weiser Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in her honor to students who want to continue their artistic talents.

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