Javad Marshall-Fields was so many things to different people; a son, grandson, brother, uncle and friend. And to his fiancee Vivian Wolfe, he was her soul mate.
The recently engaged CSU graduates were ready to take on life after college together, as a loving, married couple.
But on June 20 their lives came to an end as they were shot in their car at an intersection in Aurora and died shortly afterwards. The two were planning to move to Virginia, close to where Wolfe's brother lives.
So on Wednesday, June 29, hundreds of people gathered at a wake for Marshall-Fields to celebrate and mourn his life, as well as Wolfe's too. The open casket service was held at Mount Gilead Baptist Church in Aurora.
Family, friends and fellow students all came together to tell stories of how Marshall-Fields touched their lives.
"Javad was a young leader," said James Holland, a CSU graduate who was friends with Marshall-Fields and traveled down from Fort Collins with his sister to be at the wake.
"Javad was an icon not only to CSU, but to blacks as a whole, especially young black men," Holland said. "I never met anyone else like Javad my entire time in college."
Some people expressed anger and frustration over why two promising young people had to be gunned down.
Minister George L. Roberts of the Who's Next Ministry said that "this isn't about death, it's about change," and the fact that community members need to work together to stop the violence that is killing innocent people.
Marshall Fields was scheduled to testify in the accessory-to-murder trial of Robert Keith Ray, 19, last week but the case has been postponed. While Ray has not been officially named a suspect by the Aurora police, he is currently in jail on other charges. Mashall-Fields was a witness to the Ray shooting on July 4, 2004 at Aurora's Lowry Park, which killed one man and wounded two others, including Marshall-Fields.
Jody Donovan, Director for Student Transitions and Parents and Family Programs at CSU, said it was amazing that even on a campus with thousands of students Javad was able to touch so many lives.
Marshall-Fields graduated last May with a degree in speech communication, while Wolfe graduated in December 2004 with a degree in food science and human nutrition.
One by one people went up to the microphone and expressed certain things about Javad's life that they will always remember.
Anthony Grimes, a junior speech communication major at CSU, recalled how fierce and tough Marshall-Fields was on the basketball court and how he had come to love Marshall-Fields like a brother.
"I just pray we do not use the weapons of this world, but the weapons of God to redeem his death," Grimes said. "Hopefully we can turn this into something positive," he said after the service.
"Javad had that something about him, just an aura that drew you to him," said Aisha Williams, a junior human development and family studies major.
The Director of BSS, Jennifer Molock, remembered when Marshall-Fields first came to visit CSU's campus and how his smile lit up the entire room. Molock said Marshall-Fields had an impact on so many people's lives and thanked his family for allowing BSS to become a part of his wonderful life.
Both were actively involved on campus and Wolfe helped in starting up the Korean American Student Foundation.
Chuck Graham, an Aurora resident who used to referee Marshall-Fields in basketball, said his son cannot sleep at night since the homicides.
At the entrance to the church a poster was on display showing Marshall-Fields at certain times throughout his life, from playing basketball in his youth, to his high school prom, as well as a picture of him and Wolfe embracing and smiling.
Inside the church numerous flower bouquets lined the area surrounding the casket and a video projector presented a slideshow of Marshall-Fields' life. One slide said "born with a smile that captured hearts," and was accompanied by a baby photo, while another showed Marshall-Fields at his graduation from CSU with a shiny, white smile across his face.
"When I think of him I think so much of his spirit and that smile, and the achievement that he was all about," said Paul Thayer, Director for the Center for Advising and Student Achievement. "Javad left a hole in our hearts, but he filled our hearts up as well."
A joint funeral service was held last Thursday, June 30, for Marshall-Fields and Wolfe at Mount Gilead Baptist Church. The two were buried next to each other at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Golden, Colo.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that would help in solving the killings. Anyone with information is asked to call CRIME Stoppers at 720-913-STOP or the lead case detective with the Aurora police at 303-739-6013.
On August 25 a Memorial 5K Twilight Run and Walk with be in held in honor of Marshall-Fields and Wolfe. The walk will be presented by Potts Trotters Racing Team and take place at Delaney Farm, 170 S. Chambers Road, in Aurora at 7 p.m. A $25 registration fee will include a commemorative t-shirt, refreshments and the opportunity to win prizes. For further information contact Parthenia "Potts" Jones at 303-877-8534.