JERUSALEM TOWNSHIP, OH (WTOL) - Friday night, a small community came together to mourn the loss of three of their own.
Hundreds showed up to honor Robin and Barbara Shellhammer and their daughter Whitney Meinke after they were killed in a car crash early Sunday morning in Jerusalem Township.
With candles and phones glowing, hundreds sat in silence for three minutes to honor each life lost.
"They are the rock of our family," said Dani Fuller, niece and cousin to the family. "They are the gel of our family. They were the ones that taught us how to love more than anyone else and I think that is going to be very obvious in this community and even tonight."
The stands at Clay High School packed full to remember Robin, Barbara and Whitney, people who neighbors say changed the entire community.
"They truly were the best of the best people," said Danielle Addison, a friend of the family. "I think that they lived every day to the fullest, they always greeted you with a smile and a hug and they loved life, so it's a remembrance to live life like Barb, Robin and Whitney would."
During the vigil, a pastor encouraged the community to have hope and to know that death does not have the last word. They preached a message of love and blessings. Blessings several felt because of the way Robin, Barbara and Whitney lived.
"They were probably the most loving, supportive, happy people that I've ever met," explained Darah Morrissey, the family's hairdresser. "I know that they would have been here for anyone else, so there's no way I would have missed it."
"I think it just shows how she touched so many lives," explained Kathy Besgrove, a friend of the family for 45 years. "She, her husband Robin, and their daughter Whitney. Everyone they met they became friends with. Their love just spread throughout everybody."
Family members say their hope is to honor Robin, Barbara and Whitney's legacy and continue to see Nourish Early Learning, a school the family started together, succeed into the future.
"When you raise a family with love and you raise a family with the amount of inspiration and connection and the way that they believe in family that trickle down effect has a ripple effect in this community," explained Dani Fuller, of her aunt, uncle and cousin. "I think we've all learned the value in that. The value in that we all need to support one another, be there for one another and I think that needs to carry over into Nourish Learning."
The family says they have vowed to keep the school going as it's in just it's first year.
All the proceeds will go to the Shellhammer/Meinke family.