Family and friends remembered Heather Heyer as someone who fought for justice, even at an early age. Her grandfather Elwood Shrader said "she could call out something that didn't seem right to her. She wanted to understand your viewpoint--she insisted on knowing your viewpoint."
It was a personal quality that eventually led her to protest a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Saturday. The 32-year-old paralegal died when a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protestors.
Heyer's boss, Larry Miller, said she consistently showed compassion to clients in their firm's bankruptcy practice. He remembered one time watching her hold hands with a University of Virginia professor and his wife, a medical professional, who were filing for bankruptcy and telling them "I could easily be you."
The former waitress learned the legal practice from the ground up, said Miller. she worked late and on week-ends to master the bankruptcy code and take care of clients.
On Wednesday, Heyer's father told some 1,000 people gathered at her memorial service in Charlottesville that on the day of her death, his daughter "wanted to put down hate."
She has become an important national symbol in the struggle over race and reconciliation. President Trump tweeted about her for the first time on Wednesday calling her "beautiful and incredible."
Earlier, Heyer's father told a reporter in Florida that he had forgiven his daughter's killer, just as Jesus forgave his enemies on the cross.
Diana Ratcliff, one of Heyer's cousins, told mourners at the memorial that Heyer always saw the good in other people and "never had a problem saying what needed to be said--even when it was uncomfortable."
She described her as "my baby cousin--larger than life and too good for this world."