PORT ANGELES — Candlelight illuminated Jessie Webster Park as family and friends shared laughter and tears remembering Tiffany May, 26, her longtime boyfriend Jordan Iverson, 27, and his father Darrell “Dar” Iverson, 57.
As dozens mourned Monday night the loss of May and the Iversons, who were shot and killed late last month at 52 Bear Meadow Road, those who shared stories focused on happy memories. No arrests have been made in the case.
Jenni Tiderman, who helped organize the vigil, told the small crowd that she has struggled to find words to describe how she has felt since learning on New Year’s day that her friends had been killed.
“There’s no words, you know,” Tiderman said. “I think we all feel the same way here; we were robbed of great, great friends — kind, funny and just amazing people.”
Though it was a sad occasion, Tiderman reminded everyone that all three would want everyone to be happy. As people shared stories there was seemingly more laughter than tears.
“I know with all of the emotions we’re feeling right now, let’s remember the good times,” Tiderman said.
Siouxzie Hinton, an organizer, opened the vigil with a prayer.
“I thank you for this time that brings us together in love, that unites us and strengthens us,” Hinton said. “I ask you to bring us peace of heart, peace of mind, wisdom and understanding and the acceptance of what we cannot change.”
Hinton said that she feels the Iversons and May are still alive, just in another place where they don’t have to deal with the sorrows and pressures of human suffering.
“They are showing heaven how to party,” she said.
“The jokes, the laughter, that’s not gone and that’s not forgotten. That’s always going to be a part of us.”
With help from others, Tiderman and Hinton spent the earlier part of the day cleaning the park debris that had fallen during recent storms.
When a stranger learned they were cleaning in preparation for the vigil, the man offered to help as well.
Among the first people to speak was Sherry Emery, May’s aunt. She told everyone who attended how much it meant to her and her family that they were there to celebrate their lives.
“I don’t know all of you, but I know she loved helping people,” Emery said.
Many people who spoke talked about May’s willingness to help whenever she could.
“If she had it on her back and it was cold out, she’d share the warmth by giving somebody something to keep them warm,” said Sherry Emery, May’s aunt. “If she had food on her plate and you were hungry, she would share her food … or just give it to you.”
Stephanie Read, May’s cousin, said May always treated her like a sister and never made it known they weren’t related by blood.
“You could be in the hardest times and her smile would make you forget everything,” Read said. “She was in a good spot in her life. For this to happen to her, this is devastating. She didn’t deserve it.”
May and the younger Iverson were inseparable, Emery said. They had been together off and on for about seven years.
She said they could not have gone on without each other and that she knows they are still together.
“They were good people and it’s a very big loss for our community, our family and everyone whose lives they have touched,” Emery said. “If you felt bad, they would make sure you were happy.”
Emery said she was thankful that friends had organized the vigil. She said that given the unexpected deaths, her family has been so shocked they couldn’t have organized such a thing.
She said her family has struggled to know what to do next.
Jordan Iverson has been described as a wiz mechanic who took pride in his ability to seemingly fix anything.
Many at the vigil noted that the Iversons always would be covered in grease, something they will miss.
“The smell of grease will always remind me of them, even Tif,” one woman said.
Recently he had been helping his father with his logging business.
“We’re trying to make it through knowing that Tiffany and Jordan would want us to be happy, that they are together and not hurting,” Emery said.
“They would want us to do a party for them instead of a mourning; that’s just the way they are.”
Sara Coventon said she had known Darrell Iverson for several years and that she always saw him as a fatherly figure.
“The hickory shirts, the suspenders, he’s just like my real father,” Coventon said. “He took me in just like I was one of his own.”
Coventon described the elder Iverson, a logger, as a hard working, humble and caring man.
While many people are often described as the kind of person who would give someone the shirt off their own back, Tiderman said Darrell Iverson had actually done just that.
She had heard a story from early in his logging days in which a fellow logger had forgotten to bring toilet paper to a site and Iverson couldn’t find any in the truck.
“He rummaged through his truck and said ‘screw it,’ ” Tiderman said. “He ripped the pocket right off his shirt and handed it to him.”
Coventon said he had recently been struggling with the loss of his partner, Lori Nichols-Buchanan.
“That was really hard on him,” she said. “I never thought I would see a bear cry.”
She said Darrell Iverson was a man of few words, but that he meant every word he said.
“When he’d speak, I’d listen,” she said. “I think people need to listen more in life.”
Clallam County Sheriff’s Staff Sgt. John Keegan said Monday that investigators continue to conduct interviews and have no suspect.
He is urging people with any information about the case to call the tip line at 360-417-2540.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].