They knew their daughter was at the beginning of a rocky divorce, but Gary and Donna Rentz say they could never have prepared for her marriage to end with her death.
“We’re trying to find something positive out of all this negative,” Donna said, explaining the couple’s new commitment to assisting others. “We want to put our energy into helping people.”
Edmonton-born Nancy Cooper, 34, was found murdered in Cary, North Carolina in July 2008.
Her husband, Brad Cooper, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death.
When charges were laid police Chief Pat Bazemore called the incident “a case of domestic violence of the very worst kind.”
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Nancy’s Butterfly Fund was created by her parents for endowment to the Edmonton Community Foundation, supporting victims of domestic violence.
“Everyone wonders after these tragedies happen, what they could have done to help,” Donna said. “We couldn’t have done anything different.”
Two events, The Butterfly Ball on June 20, and a five-kilometre walk and run on July 12, have been organized, all proceeds benefiting the fund.
“We want to raise awareness and hopefully continue this every year,” Gary said.
Nancy’s parents were awarded permanent custody of her two daughters, Bella, 5, and Katie, 3. The children are coping well, and living life like normal children in the wake of their mother’s passing, Donna added.