'You will see him again in heaven,' Sharlene Bosma tells daughter
The service for Tim Bosma took place at Carmen's Banquet Hall in Hamilton
In the same Hamilton banquet hall where three years earlier Sharlene Bosma married her husband Tim, she shared the story of her love for him with the rest of the world.
She talked about how they met and talked marriage within a couple months, their home, her pregnancy, their daughter, first diapers, first words.
"He was the stereotypical doting father," she said at a public memorial service for her husband Wednesday. "I'm so glad that they will have that always."
"On May 6 our lives changed forever. What happened to him was not God's doing. I know that if it wasn't Tim it could have been another man and another man's family. What if they didn't have the support that we have. I couldn't be here without all of you. Evil came to pass. We have seen there is far more good on this earth. I believe, especially in this case, good will overcome the evil"
'We were meant to find each other'
"Tim is my person, my other half. I believe we were meant to find each other."
She spoke those words at Carmen's Banquet Hall, the same spot where the Bosmas welcomed wedding guests on Feb. 13, 2010.
The 32-year-old went missing May 6, and police announced on May 14 that they had discovered Bosma's remains on the farm of Dellen Millard, who is charged in Bosma's death.
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The search for Bosma and subsequent news of his death has gripped the community, creating the impetus for the family's decision to host a public opportunity for mourning.
His sister, Michelle DenBak, also had a message for the more than 1,000 people jammed into Carmen's Banquet Hall. She was there to speak about her brother, who went missing earlier this month after taking two strangers on a test drive of a truck he had listed for sale on Kijiji and AutoTrader.
"Our family will not be ripped apart. Our family will not lose hope," she said. "I urge you today to get your act together. Spend more time with your family. Spend more time with your kids. Spend more time with your spouse. Don't be too proud to say I'm sorry.
"Goodbye Tim," Denbak said. "We love you. Miss you. And we will still have that water fight this summer."
Earlier, Pastor John Veenstra told those in attendance to remember that "Life is precious. Treat it with care."
The owner of Carmen's, on Stone Church Road East in Hamilton, is picking up the tab for the memorial service.
Bosma praised by friend
Bosma's friend and the best man at his wedding, Gerry Kikkert, is set to speak at the memorial. The two men had known each other since high school.
Kikkert told CBC News on Wednesday morning that Bosma would do anything for his wife and daughter. He also knew how to help a friend in need.
"I had a drinking problem. He got me sober," Kikkert said.
Carmen's Banquet Hall is run by Mercanti family members, who remembered the Bosmas from their wedding day. After they heard about the slaying, they reached out to the Bosma family to see if there was anything they could do to help.
"We said, 'If you need anything, we're here for you,'" said P.J. Mercanti, president of Carmen's Group.
"My father remembered meeting with Tim and Sharlene," Mercanti said. "It's such a sad, bizarre story. It seems like everyone is invested in this."
Despite having hosted big names like Bill Clinton and Sophia Loren, Mercanti said the Bosma memorial is one of the biggest events Carmen's has ever had.
"Never have we hosted something of this magnitude," he said. "Like the rest of the city, we were devastated when we found out."
Community coping with Bosma's death
The Hamilton suburb of Ancaster has been rocked by news of Bosma's death, according to area Coun. Lloyd Ferguson.
Several vigils and memorials in Ancaster and surrounding communities have been arranged.
A month-long "Porch Lights for Tim" campaign has also sprung up — participants leave their porch lights on at night in a symbol of condolence for the tragedy.
A motorcycle ride to raise money for a trust fund for Bosma's wife and daughter has been planned for June 23.
With files from Kaleigh Rogers