A look at the 8 people killed at the Omaha mall
Published December 7, 2007
Gary Scharf was on his way home to Lincoln after a business trip in Iowa when he stopped at the Von Maur store.
"I'm sure he got in front of other people" and took a bullet that might have hit someone else, said his ex-wife, Kim Scharf. "That's who he is, to a fault."
Scharf, 48, sold agricultural products and was devoted to helping people. Recently he helped a single mom get her car started, then got her address and delivered a package of groceries and blankets to her doorstep, Kim Scharf said.
"I called him my Dudley-do-right," Kim Scharf said. "You'd never meet a more honorable and loyal man."
Beverly Flynn, a gift wrapper at the store, also had been a real estate agent.
Whenever she closed a deal, the 47-year-old Omaha woman planted a rose bush in the yard of the new homeowners as a move-in gift, company spokeswoman Susan Young said.
"That was her way to put her style on the whole transaction," Young said.
Angie Schuster had planned to teach elementary school after graduating from college, but when she couldn't find a job in the field, she started working in retail, said her older sister, Donna Kenkel.
Schuster, 36, of Omaha, was a manager in the girls' department, where she had worked for nearly 10 years. The department is near the third-floor elevator, which Kenkel said meant "she probably didn't have any chance, any warning" against the gunman.
Dianne Trent, a store employee, spent warm evenings tending to the flowers on her porch, drinking tea and chatting with her neighbor, Errol Schlenker.
"A very incredibly sweet person," Schlenker said. "She was just a decent person who lived a good life here."
Divorced with no children, Trent, 53, lived in an Omaha town house with a small dog and two cats.
Janet Jorgensen, a longtime employee in the store's gift department, was popular with co-workers and customers alike, according to family.
Almost everyone who shopped there seemed to know the 66-year-old woman because of her friendly, outgoing personality.
Jorgensen, who worked at the store since it opened about a dozen years ago, is survived by a husband, three children and eight grandchildren.
John McDonald and his wife of 40 years were getting Christmas gifts wrapped at the store when the shooting started.
"He was one of the greatest people anyone could hope to meet," Kathy McDonald said. "He had a fantastic sense of humor."
The retired couple lived across the Missouri River from Omaha in Council Bluffs, Iowa. John McDonald, 65, loved music, electronics and astronomy, and he played bridge and the guitar.
Gary Joy loved writing stories and poems and was a devoted son, his 91-year-old mother said.
Inez Joy said her 56-year-old son often dined with her at her Omaha retirement community, most recently at Thanksgiving.
Gary Joy, a store employee, died before he arrived at a hospital.
"I've been through tragedy before," his mother said. "You hurt. There's not a thing you can do about it."
Maggie Webb, who was about two weeks shy of her 25th birthday,was new to the Omaha store. She was the youngest victim of Wednesday's shooting rampage.
The Quad-City Times reported that Webb grew up in Illinois and graduated from Moline High School in 2001. She was active in the school dance team and Spanish Club.
[Last modified December 7, 2007, 02:12:34]
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