STANWOOD – Dayna Fure drove five hours across the state last fall to deliver gloves that she had designed for her cross country teammates and coaches.
The Stanwood High School senior hadn’t qualified for the state championships in Pasco but she wanted her teammates to have warm hands.
“There was utter joy in her face when she delivered them to us,” said her coach, Paul Johnson.
Fure, 18, was not the best runner on the team, but she had a strength of character and dedication that set her apart, Johnson said.
Monday, hundreds of people from the community gathered inside the high school gym to remember the teen with a “big smile and huge heart.”
Fure was slain May 24 inside her family home. Her ex-boyfriend, Mainor Mario Valentin, shot her before killing himself. Valentin, 23, had been distraught since Fure broke off their relationship about two months ago.
Fure had obtained a protection order against the Seattle man a day after he parked outside her workplace, placed a gun to his head and threatened to kill himself.
Valentin was not arrested for the incident. Police took him to Providence Everett Medical Center for a mental health evaluation. He was released early the next morning, investigators said.
Since her death, Fure’s family has questioned the actions of police and hospital officials, asking why more wasn’t done to protect her.
“I will do everything in my power to change the laws that let you down,” Fure’s mom, Melody Cottrell, wrote in a letter that was read at the memorial.
Fure had planned to study law. She wanted to have her own practice and had earned scholarships to attend Gonzaga University in Spokane in the fall.
She had earned a nearly perfect grade point average in high school, even though she worked after school.
“There was never a doubt in my mind that you would have reached your goals,” Fure’s grandmother, Pam Otterson, wrote in another letter that was read.
Fure was a focused student and athlete. She also gave unconditionally to those she loved, her mom said.
“Her spirit will far outlive the moments that took her life,” friend Caitlin Kelly said.
A video at the memorial showed Fure growing up through the years. The blue-eyed, blond girl, who belted out the folk song “Side by Side,” with her family on road trips, was often caught on film hugging her brothers and sisters or surrounded by friends.
Fure was always there if someone needed lunch money, a ride home or a shoulder to cry on, friend Valerie Kunda said.
Fure asked for little in return and rarely complained.
Johnson, who coached Fure for four years, recalled how there was never a sign of self-pity even when she was up to her knees in ice with shin splints. She’d sit in agony and “share with others her strength,” he said.
Fure’s cross-country teammates gave her the best attitude award last season. Johnson has said a new award has been created to honor Fure. It will be given to the person who exemplifies Fure’s zest for life, hard work and dedication to others, he said.
Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or email@example.com.
Where to donate
Donations can be made to the Dayna Fure Scholarship, to be awarded to future pre-law students, at Northwest Plus Credit Union.