Kelowna pays tribute to murdered woman and children at vigil

Clara Forman and her two daughters Karina and Yesenia were remembered fondly Thursday

Clara Forman was a loving woman with a quirky sense of humour and welcoming personality, say friends and family who gathered Thursday at candlelight vigil held in her honour.

“She had a real zest for life, she loved her work at GoodLife Fitness — it was important to her— and she was a wonderful mother. They were both amazing parents, I know that’s strange to say now,” said Barry Forman, who was among the crowd of 100-plus people paying tribute to Clara and her two daughters, Karina and Yesenia.

Court documents indicate that Clara and the two girls, ages 7 and 8, were killed some time between Dec. 17 and Dec 19. Jacob Forman, 34, has been charged with three counts of second degree murder in the deaths of his wife and daughters.

The whole Forman family, Barry said, is “reeling” from the events of the last couple weeks. It is, he said, at odds with what he saw while spending time with Clara, Jacob and the girls at their church group functions.

“We just don’t know what happened,” he said, adding that even when they do learn, it won’t change anything and the outcome is heart-breaking and impossible to process.

Many who attended the vigil on Thursday said they too were having a hard time coming to terms with the loss.

One woman said that she went to be near to people who knew and cared for Clara, in hopes that it would help her process her own grief.

Others said they went simply because the story of a woman with two young children being killed in their home struck a cord and they had to do something.

For Colleen Wood-Loewen, being present at the vigil was personal.

She lost a friend and colleague last week and said in time it will be the memory of Clara and the girls that will help her heal.

“She was a dedicated mother and loved her family above all else,” she said. “Her daughters, who she home-schooled were everything to her.”

Clara’s second love was fitness, she said, and she excelled at helping others reach their personal bests and was loving, caring, patient, kind and funny and always had a smile.

The event was was hosted by the Latino community.

The Capital News spoke with co-organizer Sharon Fisher ahead of the vigil and she said that they wanted to something because her situation hit close to home.

“You leave everything behind when you come to Canada and to have something like that happen… we wanted to make sure it didn’t go by without being noticed,” she said.

“We also want women who may be in abusive situations to know there is help out there.”

A speaker from the Elizabeth Fry Society offered up information on staying safe, and noted that as of yet nobody knows the circumstances that led to Clara and the two children’s death.

Jacob Forman is in police custody and will appear in court next month. His lawyer Glen Verdurmen said his client was holding up.

He also said it was too early to tell what position he’d be taking going forward or if Forman was ready to enter a plea. When Forman returns to court Jan. 18, 2018 Verdurmen said he’s unlikely to have a significantly clearer view on that.

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