Mourners bid farewell to slain woman

NOTE: This story was originally published Oct. 3, 1997.

MINNEAPOLIS - More than 100 mourners nearly filled the small chapel in the sprawling south Minneapolis Lakewood Cemetery on Thursday afternoon to say farewell to Frances Bloomfield.

Bloomfield, 57, of Iowa City, was found dead in a ditch near Rockford, Ill., on Sept. 22. Law enforcement officials believe she was killed in her house by someone who then took her body to Illinois. Authorities on Thursday reported no new developments in the search for Bloomfield's killer.

The memorial service included music by the Beatles, W.H. Auden poetry and music from the soundtrack of the film "Out of Africa."

No mention was made of the circumstances surrounding Bloomfield's death.

"This is not an end; it's a marking on a journey that each of us will make separately," family friend Catherine Furnberg said.

Mourners described Bloomfield as a devoted and selfless wife, mother and friend.

"We love her deeply and will miss her more than these feeble words can express," said Michael Barrett, Bloomfield's cousin and a family friend. "Fran was a lovely lady; kind, thoughtful and caring."

The service included a recording of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life." Bloomfield's husband, John, read a poem, and Jill Clover, Bloomfield's sister-in-law, read a passage from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, on the nature of love.

Following the emotional ceremony, family members hugged and wept with supporters outside the chapel under a warm autumn sun. They declined to speak with a reporter.

A memorial ceremony for Bloomfield also took place in England almost simultaneously with the one in Minneapolis.

Like her husband, Bloomfield was a native of England. She came to the United States in 1972 and lived in the Minneapolis area for 22 years before moving two years ago to Iowa City, where John Bloomfield had accepted a job as a researcher at the Center for Computer-Aided Design at the University of Iowa.After her two sons were out of school, Bloomfield went to work for the Courage Center, a place that helps with the rehabilitation of people seriously injured in accidents. She did not work outside the home in Iowa City.

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