Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Elyria 64°


Kerstetter details: Services, candlelight vigil, motorcade


Funeral services for Officer Kerstetter

Funeral services for slain Elyria police Officer James Kerstetter will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Lorain County Community College’s field house.

Calling hours will be 2 to 9 p.m. today and Friday at Bauer-Laubenthal-Mercado Funeral Home, 38475 Chestnut Ridge Road, in Elyria.

Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitely said plans for Saturday’s funeral procession, which will eventually end with Kerstetter’s burial at Resthaven Memory Gardens in Avon, are expected to be finalized today.

More photos below.

Say thanks

As many as 5,000 law enforcement officers are expected Saturday for the funeral and motorcade for fallen Elyria police Officer James Kerstetter.

Elyria Police Capt. Duane Whitely said all Elyria police officers have been invited to attend, and he expects officers from all over — including out of state — to attend the funeral as well.

He said 20 officers from several other police departments will provide police protection to the city on Saturday.

A group of Kerstetter’s friends and community members who have organized to help the Kerstetter family would like to give each of those law enforcement officers a thank-you card.

The community is invited to make or purchase thank you cards and leave their own personal messages in them. Cards can be dropped off in The Chronicle lobby, 225 East Ave., Elyria, or the Elyria Schools administration building, 42101 Griswold Road, Elyria Township, until 3 p.m. Friday.

Luminaries for funeral procession

Katie Hildebrand, a friend of the Kerstetter family and a Chronicle employee, is asking residents to decorate Abbe Road from state Route 57 to Detroit Road with luminarias and ribbons, if possible, on Friday night and for Saturday, when the funeral for Kerstetter will be at the field house at Lorain County Community College on Abbe Road.

“It’s too late to thank Jim, but at least we can thank the rest of them,” said Hildebrand.

Candlelight vigil

A candlelight vigil is being planned for Friday night at 8 p.m. outside of the Elyria Police Station in honor of fallen Elyria Police Officer James Kerstetter.

Mike Van Akin and two friends are organizing the vigil. Van Akin said that they want to see the people that Kerstetter served for 15 years show up and pay their respects.

“Officer Kerstetter gave his life while serving our community, this is certainly the least we could do to honor him and his family,” he wrote.

Van Akin also said he hopes to see the community show up in force on Saturday during Kerstetter’s funeral to show everyone how much our community appreciated his 15 years of service. Attendees also can bring gifts for the family.

Planning something to honor Kerstetter?

Please let us know. Send an e-mail to ctnews@chroniclet.com.

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