EVERETT — Monroe corrections Sgt. Jimmie Fletcher said he first met Jayme Biendl in 2002 among a crowd of officers who towered above her.
She was just 5 foot 3, but she carried herself with strength and confidence that made her stand out.
She had the ambition to conduct herself in a true and just manner, he said. She had the tendency to change the people around her.
She was committed to being a good officer, daughter and sister, not just to her siblings but to her co-workers, too.
There will forever be a void in his soul and those of her co-workers, Fletcher said, breaking down in tears at a memorial service Tuesday in Biendl’s honor.
“She made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.
Fletcher told his co-workers that he believes in the work that he and his co-workers do, and the difference they make.
“With that said, I love you guys,” Fletcher said, drawing applause from the audience.
Monroe corrections officer Kristen Marken spoke next.
Biendl’s eyes were always smiling even in an environment where it’s easy to become cynical, Marken said.
All of us serving here will always remember the price she paid, she said.
Many heads in the audience hung in sorrow and prayer. Some Monroe corrections officers in the rows on the floor reached back into the rows behind them to comfort their colleagues.
Then a video tribute played out on multiple screens in the area. Photos showed Biendl dancing and with her horses, smiling while holding onto family and friends. A sole spotlight shone on her casket in the darkened arena.