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Memorial service for Laurel Hester


The Rev. C. John Thompson-Quartey hugs Stacie Andree outside St. Mary by the Sea Episcopal Church in Point Pleasant Beach after the memorial service for Andree’s domestic partner, Laurel Hester.

There’s a moving piece in the Asbury Park Press by Margaret Bonafide, A quiet service for a quiet activist.

Lynda Hester-D’Orio, Laurel’s sister, said the reception and show of friends and the law enforcement family was a comfort. “It is very warming to see so many people from so many walks of life,” said Hester-D’Orio. “I am getting so much strength and appreciation from the people who had done so much to support her.”

James Hester, Laurel’s brother from Maryland, said, “Her whole life, Laurel was a person who made people say, “I want to get to know her.’ She took after our parents, who were like that. She had the kind of strength people were attracted to.”

Carol Andree, Stacie’s mother, had become very close to Laurel, she said. After the service, she said she felt like she had lost one of her own, but knew someone special had come into her and her daughter’s lives. She said she was touched by the closeness she felt to them.

“They truly let me into their lives,” Carol Andree said.

Earlier Blend posts on Laurel Hester.

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