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Candlelight vigil honors David & Vivian Bouwman

9:13 AM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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Family of David and Vivian Bouwman attend a vigil in Kentwood Tuesday evening

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- More than 200 people were in attendance for a candlelight vigil in Pinewood Park Tuesday, to honor a Kentwood couple, murdered inside their home over the weekend.

David Bouwman, 81 and his wife Vivian, 80 lived on Stowevalley Drive, inside the Princeton Estates subdivision.

The vigil was led by Pastor Kyle Ray of Kentwood Community Church. Many we spoke with didn't even know the couple, but wanted to show that their community cared.

That was evident just driving up to the park. Nearly every home in the large neighborhood had luminary candles lining their property in show of support.

"Evil will not prevail," said Pastor Ray.

"Mom and dad did not live in fear in this neighbhorhood, they loved this neighborhood," said Tom Kelly," son-in-law of the Bouwmans, who spoke on behalf of the family.

Two of the couple's daughters, Karen and Linda, attended the vigil as well.

"We have a vibrant, strong community and this random act of violence is not going to slow that down," said Jim Swoboda, who lives near the Bouwmans.

"The dark and the light, the light and the darkness, it's a really wonderful theme, said Sherri Filson," who lives in the neighborhood but didn't know the couple.

"There's so much potential here, there's so much potential to really show the world what it means to live in community together," Pastor Ray told the crowd.

"It's been a difficult week as you can imagine, and to have this many people come out and show solidarity and provide for us their thoughts and prayers is really overwhelming," said Kelly. "It's heartfelt, and we felt it."

"It's encouraging because people care," said Filson.

"How can you describe Dave and Viv, they were just very active, very vibrant, very caring," said Karen Neymeiyer of Byron Center. "When they greeted you on Sunday morning, they greeted you by name."

"They showed us everyday what it was like to live in a world and be caring and loving and kind to all that you came in touch with, and they exampled that to us. Now it's our job to go out and example that to others," said Kelly.

The funeral is scheduled for Saturday, January 12.

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