PORT ANGELES — Family and friends attended a private memorial service for Melissa Leigh Carter at Olympic Vineyard Church on Friday.
More than 100 people, young and old, well-dressed and raggedy, listened to her friends share memories and feelings while photographs of Melissa were projected above the church altar.
The pictures showed her as a baby, a young girl and as a teenager.
“God needed another angel with a warm heart,” said her father, Christopher Carter, of Port Hadlock.
“That’s why He took Melissa.”
A tearful teenage girl took the microphone to say: “This is proof for me that you never know what you have till it’s gone.”
Melissa’s mother said her daughter twice had come home to Salem, Ore., only to return to Port Angeles because of the friends she needed here — and the friends who needed her.
Melissa’s body was returned Saturday to Salem, her birthplace.Survivors include her parents, Carla and Christopher Carter; her brothers, Brandon, Jason and Jacob who lives in Salem; her grandparents, Jim and Nancy Madden of Salem and Ray and Cheryl Hawkins of Silverton, Ore.; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.