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SANTA ROSA COUNTY -- About a hundred people braved the cold Saturday night to remember and honor Sharon Aydelott. She was killed on Christmas Eve. Her son is awaiting trial after confessing to killing her, but her luminary ceremony focused on her finer moments.
Hundreds created luminaries in her honor, each one with a particular message on them.
It takes a special person to bring a community together, and to the people who knew Sharon Aydelott, she was that person
Sharon Aydelott touched many lives.
Those who knew her, say her smile was infectious.
"It's so comforting to see so many people come out to support her" said Kathy Clark, Holley-Navarre Teacher.
Sharon was one of Kathy Clark's closest friends.
They taught science together at Holley-Navarre Middle school for years.
"You can tell she was loved. She was a great friend, a great teacher and a great mentor" said Clark.
Many of Aydelott's students, and their parents, shared lasting memories of their beloved science teacher.
"I really appreciate what she did and she was probably one of the best science teachers" said Shawn Jones, student.
"She was such a great teacher and such a great person" said Lauren Baccarini, Student.
"She's a really nice teacher and she's very important to everyone" said Rachel Douville, Student.
"Ms. Aydelott loved her students and she had a real enthusiasm so we wanted to come and honor her life" said Pam Hesse, Navarre.
Dozens of balloons were released in Sharon's honor which lit up the sky.
Everyone at the luminary ceremony knows the healing process will be tough.
"What causes someone to take a life when so much left is shared, why is it that we seem to have all these questions but so few answers" said Pastor Lance Whorton.
Grief counselors will be on hand when Sharon's students and colleagues return from Christmas break Monday. Co-workers and students are bracing themselves for a host of emotions. They know without Sharon's infectious smile, things just won't be the same.
"It's going to be hard, she's going to be missed, but we'll get together and get through it as a team" said Clark.