Community mourns death of Stephanie Goodloe

Violent thunderstorms and harsh downpours had marked Tuesday, but the clouds subsided and the sun came out just in time for the Lord’s prayer, while friends gathered to pay tribute to Stephanie Goodloe.

Goodloe, who was killed in her home on June 15, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, was remembered Tuesday as a quiet, caring person who dedicated herself to helping others.

“She always had a smile on her face, no matter what,” said friend and co-worker Passion Wilkins, “She was a beautiful person.”

Police have arrested Donald Hairston and charged him with Goodloe’s murder.

“She never told anyone what she was going through,” said Sequoya Pollard, one of Goodloe’s close friends.

Pollard said that Goodloe was a very private person and did not show much; if any sign that there was a problem.”No one knew this whole story,” she said.

A little after 1:30 a.m. on the June 18, 40-year-old Goodloe was shot in her home, in front of her 11-year-old daughter. The suspect, Donald Hairston and Goodloe had been in a relationship and had previously lived together, according to a restraining order Goodloe filed in court two weeks before her murder.

In the restraining order Goodloe cited continuous harassment and threats, including slashing three of her car tires.

Friends gathered outside of Goodloe’s home, in the 700 block of Kentucky Ave., SE around 8 p.m. Tuesday night in a planned vigil for Goodloe.

Over 30 people came the candle light vigil. Michael Jackson’s “Gone too Soon” played out of car speakers as Goodloe’s friends lit candles in her honor, giving glow-sticks to all the children who attended.

Goodloe’s neighbors, coworker, and close friends stood huddled together in a close circle and shared what they will remember most about her and the impact she had on all of their lives.

“She listened to you, she never put you down,” said Latisha Hodge; a friend of Goodloe who came to the vigil.

Many of those who attended had meet Goodloe through Martha’s Table, a D.C. family support organization that works to provide education, healthy food and aid to members of the community. On the fence of her home, her friends laid a t-shirt from Martha’s Table and covered it in purple signatures and messages of love.

Goodloe was also an active member of Mount Gilead Baptist Church according to the Washington Post. She had also worked as the daycare director at Christian Tabernacle Church of God. Gilbert had grown up going to Mount Gilead and service as the youth minister at the time of her death.

Mount Gilead’s pastor, Rev. Leroy Gilbert said that Goodloe was very creative and that the church’s children and teens would tell her things that they wouldn’t tell anyone else. “She was more than a wonderful person,” Gilbert told the Washington Post. “She was one of those miracles of God.”

The neighborhood, Barney Circle, is a relatively safe area, with one neighbor stating that they had lived in that area for over twenty years and nothing “like this” has ever happened. The 700 block of Kentucky is marked with colorful houses, overflowing gardens and a small playground across the street from Goodloe’s home.

The vigil ended with the releasing of yellow and white balloons; yellow to represent friendship and white to represent Goodloe’s faith and her new status as an angle.

A GoFundMe has been created to help support Goodloe’s daughter’s education. Nearly $25,000 have been raised. The account was created by one of Stephanie’s coworkers, Lee Lee Hurt, who wrote on the donation page, “Her life revolved around (her daughter) and giving her the best whether it was education, extra curricular activities,or anything to further her growth as a growing young lady.”

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