Friends and colleagues of Stacie Williams gathered in the auditorium of Nassau University Medical Center Thursday to remember the 45-year-old single mother of three who police say was gunned down on the morning of June 16 by a veteran Nassau correction officer.
The somber service, dubbed "Living Life Like It's Golden," included prayers, poems, and stories about Williams, who worked at the hospital for 23 years, most recently as a patient care assistant in the hospital's labor and delivery suite.
"The hospital has lost a ray of light," said Crystal Jackson, a registered nurse in the hospital's labor and delivery suite. She knew Williams for more than nine years. "It's very hard for me to come to the floor and not see her. I feel like she's going to come around the corner but she's not."
For about 45 minutes, dozens of people, many brought to tears, listened quietly as hospital officials led group prayers and sang songs in honor of Williams, a former Hempstead resident. A large framed photo of Williams, smiling with large curls all over her head, sat at the front of the room. Nearby four red roses and four large burning white candles stood in her memory.
Susan Novelli, a nurse manager in the hospital's maternity and newborn nursery, was Williams' last boss and her friend for more than 17 years. "It's lonely because you expect to see her," Novelli said. "She was wonderful. She was just a beautiful human being. She died way too soon, but it was a gift that we had her."
Williams' murder was part of a four-hour ordeal in which Kim Wolfe, 43, killed Williams near the hospital's front entrance, police said. Wolfe then went to the home of her family in Hempstead and fatally shot her uncle and wounded her grandfather. She then took her niece hostage for a few hours before surrendering to Nassau police, officials said. Wolfe has not entered a plea to charges of murder, kidnapping and assault stemming from the rampage.
Police said Wolfe killed Williams, her uncle and shot her grandfather after her relationship with Williams soured and Wolfe became embroiled in a family dispute over insurance money.
She had been held in the prison ward at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Elmhurst until yesterday, when she was transferred to Rikers Island, according to her lawyer, Michael DerGarabedian of Rockville Centre. DerGarabedian expects her case to go to a grand jury next week.
With Sophia Chang