Remembering the life of 'angel' Julia Mudgett

A memorial for Julia Mudgett will take place Wednesday.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A memorial for murder victim 77-year-old Julia Mudgett of Hollywood was held Wednesday.

The service was held at her home church of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard. The service began at 11 a.m. and lasted about an hour.

The service was open to the public.

The memorial was a simple service conducted by the bishop. It will include a handful of Mudgett's favorite hymns including 'Be Still My Soul,' 'Near My God to Be,' and 'I Need Thee Every Hour.'

"She was unique, very intelligent, and caring. Everyone has these people in their life. She was an angel in my life," said friend of 40 years and fellow church member, Chris Cooper. "She was always smiling. Had health issues but never complained. Just a wonderful, wonderful person."

Church officials said the memorial also featured tributes by close friends.

To some she was Sister Mudgett; to others Aunt JuJu, but both friends and family of Julia Mudgett prayed this memorial service would someday take place.

"It wasn't until today at noon at the end of the service that, I personally realized that, I hadn't closed at all. But, I have now and I'm sure others feel the same way," said Dr. James Freston, with the West Ashley ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Freston was a close friend of Julia Mudgett, who was first reported missing more than two weeks ago.

Friends had feared the worst but, continued to pray that she would be found.

"This was not a lady sitting around, she was busy all the time. Serving, communicating, writing keeping busy and basically being a friend to a lot of people," said Freston.

Those that knew her say Julia Mudgett was a loving, kind, and faithful woman. She was said to have enjoyed poetry, reading, music, and dancing.

Mudgett was also busy being a friend to those with four legs. Her dog Prince Fido was the only one of her four dogs to make it to the service.

"They knew her as 'Momsy,' and when 'Momsy' said it was time to do something they all got in line and did it," said Dr. Tom Hentges, a friend and long-time veterinarian to Mudgett's pets.

Mudgett's devotion to her dogs was understood by everyone who knew her and that's why friends are asking for donations in her name to be given to pet helpers.

Mudgett's body was found last week in the woods off of Toogoodoo Road near her home. Charleston County Sheriff's deputies arrested Jerry Lee Manigault last Friday and charged him with Mudgett's murder.

He has been charged with murder , kidnapping, strong arm robbery, and first-degree burglary.

"Now that we know what has happened and that she has passed and is reunited with her son and husband, it becomes more of a celebration day than the pain we have felt the past few weeks," Cooper said.

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