Nearly 900 people visited a southwest Omaha funeral chapel Monday to comfort and express sympathy for the family of slain Millard South Assistant Principal Vicki Kaspar.
Although icy roads made driving hazardous, mourners streamed in all day to the chapel at Braman Mortuary, 144th and Drexel Streets.
In the evening, 200 people attended a vigil service at the chapel led by the Rev. Michael Swanton, administrator of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Omaha.
The chapel, where Kaspar's body lay in a casket adorned with red and white roses, was filled to capacity.
About half the people watched the service on a closed-circuit TV in an adjoining room. While most of the crowd was adults, there were students mixed in, many wearing Millard South jackets.
Swanton said Kaspar's death still seems “surreal.”
He urged the mourners to focus on the good memories of her and imitate Kaspar's life of service to others. He led the crowd in praying part of the rosary.
He read from Luke 13:35, an advisory to be prepared for one's own death: “Know this,” he read, “that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Kevin Knudson, the Millard South senior class president, spoke on behalf of all students to express the “deepest sympathies” to the family and friends of Kaspar.
“Dr. Kaspar will be remembered by students as a woman that cared about their success and would go to great lengths to ensure that they earned what she believed was the most important thing for a young person: a high school diploma,” he said. “Her door was always open. Her ears, always willing to listen. She cared for the students of Millard South as if they were her own.”
Heidi Weaver, an administrator at Millard South, said Kaspar mothered the staff, guiding them but letting them find their own way. A long list of testimonials from other teachers were read praising Kaspar and her forgiving and positive nature.
A funeral Mass is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St Wenceslaus Catholic Church.