DEXTER

June 20, 2011

Lake funeral: A full-house farewell

Speakers cherish memory of slain mother, children

DEXTER -- Michelle Lamoreau carried a teddy bear with her Saturday as she walked to the lectern set before the nearly 1,000 people in Dexter Regional High School's gymnasium who had gathered to mourn the death of Amy Bagley Lake and her two children.

click image to enlarge

Andrew Higgins, facing and Jeff Bagley, embrace on Saturday after funeral services for Amy, Coty and Monica Lake at Dexter Regional High School in Dexter. Jeff Bagley is the brother of Amy Lake. Higgins was a close friend and pallbearer for the service.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

Jeff Bagley hugs his father, Ralph Bagley, before Saturday's funeral for Amy, Coty and Monica Lake at Dexter Regional High School in Dexter.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

Additional Photos Below

Lamoreau, a kindergarten teacher at Ridge View Community School, taught Lake's son, Coty, about eight years ago. At the end of his kindergarten year, he gave her the teddy bear because he didn't want Lamoreau to forget him, she said.

She's kept it all these years, and she does not intend to forget him, his sister, Monica, or his mother, who was also a kindergarten teacher at the same school in Dexter.

The hundreds of people who filled the gymnasium Saturday were a testament to the fact that that they will not forget, either. Many wore purple, a symbol of domestic violence awareness. Family, friends and co-workers sat quietly, wiping away tears.

Amy Lake, 38, and her children, Coty, 13, and Monica, 12, of Dexter, were shot Monday by Lake's estranged husband, Steven Lake, 37, who then killed himself, according to police.

Amy Lake graduated as valedictorian in the same gymnasium where her funeral was held. About 50 flower bouquets adorned the area around the casket, which held the remains of Lake and her children. Positioned front and center were three framed photographs of each of them.

"Amy, Coty and Monica, we love you and miss you dearly. Amy, thank you for living a life of love. Thank you for the memories you have given us and the good times we shared," Lamoreau said.

She read a Bible verse from 1 Corinthians usually recited at weddings: "Love is patient; love is kind."

"Amy always demonstrated patience with her kids. Her tone was loving and compassionate," Lamoreau said. "Love always protects. She always tried to protect her kids, her family and her friends."

Lake fought for teachers, Lamoreau said, adding that she has her current job because Lake advocated for her. "Love always trusts and always hopes. Amy and the kids had their faith in God," Lamoreau said. "Coty always told her God was going to take care of them."

Kelly Gay, also a kindergarten teacher at Ridge View, described Lake as her best friend. They were both hired by School Administrative District 46 as special education teachers, and their sons were born one day apart.

They trusted and confided in one another, Gay said. That fact was clear this week, she said, when she often wanted to tell Lake something and then remembered she was not there.

"I realized so many times this week: I told Amy everything," she said.

Lake "never hesitated to tell me that she loved me," Gay said, describing her as a strong woman and "amazing" mother, teacher and friend.

"I wish I could have done more for her," she said. "She would have done anything for anybody in this room, no questions asked."

The Rev. Will Walters described Lake as a "stable woman in an unstable world" and urged people to come together as a community.

"One victory that I see already in this tragedy is the help and outpouring of love from the community," Walters said. "May I suggest that we continue this. May I suggest we trade our sorrows for service."

Lake was "the kindest, gentlest person I've ever known," said Roxann Bagley, Lake's sister-in-law.

She described Coty Lake as a similar, kind-hearted person. "Coty had the same love for his family that his mother did," she said. "His mother was his life." Before he went to bed each night, he told his mother he loved her, Bagley said.

Monica Lake loved to have her hair braided and wear dresses but was an athlete and competitor, she said. She described her as outgoing and talkative.

Bagley said when she meets them in heaven, Monica Lake probably will in a Dexter sports uniform. Coty Lake will be wearing his favorite hat, grinning, about to tell her a joke. Amy Lake, she said, will be waiting with a smile and an open heart.

Erin Rhoda -- 474-9534

erhoda@centralmaine.com

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

At far right, Ralph Bagley holds his wife, Linda, as they sit in front of the casket that holds the remains of their daughter and grandchildren Coty and Monica during a funeral Saturday at Dexter Regional High School in Dexter.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

Pallbearers carry the casket of Amy Lake and her two children, Coty and Monica, to a waiting hearse after their funeral Saturday at Dexter Regional High School in Dexter.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

Signs of love and support decorate the walls of the Dexter Regional High School gymnasium Saturday during the funeral of Amy, Coty and Monica Lake in Dexter.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

Family, friends and colleagues pack the gymnasium to remember Amy, Coty and Monica Lake on Saturday during their funeral at Dexter Regional High School in Dexter.

click image to enlarge

Ron Bagley, cousin of Amy Lake, speaks during the funeral of Amy, Coty and Monica Lake on Saturday at Dexter Regional High School in Dexter.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

 


Further Discussion

Here at OnlineSentinel.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)