WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (AP) — The four adult children of a West Valley City municipal code enforcement officer fatally shot while on the job remembered their mother as a funny, feisty and loving woman during a funeral Friday.
Jill Robinson’s children cried and hugged as they spoke during a public funeral Friday at the Maverik Center in West Valley city attended by family, friends, colleagues and police and firefighters from around the state, the Deseret News reports .
“Mom was our best friend, our confidant, our cheerleader, our support,” daughter Katie Merrill said. “She was the hardest worker we’ve ever known, and she put her heart into everything she did.”
Her children said Robinson, 52, raised them on her own and inspired them to pursue their dreams. They have become a teacher, a lawyer, an actor and a stage technician.
Robison was killed Aug. 9 at a home where police later arrested 64-year-old Kevin Wayne Billings on suspicion of aggravated arson, murder and other charges.
Billings torched her truck and set his neighbor’s house on fire and told witnesses that he did it after “years of harassment” over laws requiring cleanup of trash and weeds outside his home, authorities said.
Robinson, 52, had worked for West Valley City for 10 years.
Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement read by his deputy chief of staff, Mike Mower, that Utahans’ hearts are heavy because of a “despicable act of violence.”
“Utah has lost a wonderful mother, public servant, and friend,” Mower said. “Jill was an inspiration to many people and her legacy will continue.”
Her children walked hand-in-hand to the podium to speak. They laughed as they remembered how their mother would yell ” fishy, fishy, fishy” while fishing no matter how many stares she got from other anglers.
Katie Merrill remembered how her mother would make them Halloween costumes each year no matter how outlandish the request, including one for a kid abducted by aliens.
“We know she was so proud of what each of us accomplished. And in turn, we are so proud of Mom’s accomplishments,” Haile Merrill said.
Haile Merrill said their mother always told them how much she loved them.
“I loved everything about my mom. But what I loved most was her hugs,” Jessica Knorr said. “With each and every hug I could feel her love for me.”
Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com