Annie Le Laid to Rest: 'She Contines to Shine'

Family and friends pay tribule to slain Yale University grad student.

Sept. 26, 2009— -- As Annie Le's fiance sat with his head bowed, her family and friends filling the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, the Yale University student was remembered for her "fullness of life."

Le was laid to rest today near her Placerville, Calif., hometown where her dreams of finding cures for diseases was born.

Her fiance, Jonathan Widawsky, acted as the head usher for the service attended by more than 600 people.

"If we take those special qualities of hers and continue to make them our own, then she will continue to live in us," said Monsignor James Kidder, who was once Le's pastor.

Her funeral comes nearly two weeks to the day that Le's body was found stuffed into a basement wall inside the Yale University lab where she worked. It was the day she and Widawsky were supposed to be married.

"Although our beloved Annie is no longer with us she continues to shine and live deep in our hearts as we remember her graceful smiles and the fullness of life that she lived," said Bob Nguyen, Le's uncle who raised her.

ABC's Sacramento affiliate KXTV reported that Le's mother Vivian read a poem written after her daughter's murder.

"You left life at too young an age, at the beginning of many great things," Le's brother Chris read, translating the poem from Vietnamese to English. "All the dreams and hopes of your future gone with you to your resting place."

Kidder told mourners that Le "wanted to do the best and be the best."

"Those who knew her describe the Yale graduate student as having an outsized personality with an infectious laugh," he said. "Someone always ready to help others, a trait reflected in her choice of a career in medical research."

Annie Le, Slain Yale Student, 'Always Smiling'

Those who knew Le have had a seemingly endless stream of compliments for the petite woman, whose Facebook page once showed her posing happily with Widawsky.

"She wasn't just smart, she was cheerful -- always smiling and she loved to help out," said T. Abraham, spokesman at Marshall Hospital in Placerville, where Le put in many hours. "She was exceptional."

Abraham told ABC News that Le would carefully watch the other doctors while volunteering and that curing disease was her passion.

"She wouldn't have just done things here," he said, "she would've changed the world."

Le's body was found Sept. 13, nearly a week after she went missing after going to work at the laboratory on Amistad Street on the Yale campus. Though investigators weren't sure initially if she was the victim of foul play or had simply gotten cold feet in advance of her impending nuptials, they soon discovered that while Le had used her ID to get into the building, there was no evidence she ever left.

The investigation quickly focused on 24-year-old lab technician Raymond Clark III, who was arrested last week and charged with her murder. He has not entered a plea and is being held on $3 million bond in a high-security Connecticut prison.

Kidder did not immediately return messages left by today, but told The Associated Press that her family was seeking healing from the funeral and burial.

Le's pastor until she graduated from high school, Kidder told the AP that her interest in medical research was reflective of her outlook on life.

"She went into medicine because she wanted to help people as best she could," he said. "While she was a great achiever, she really showed that the great achievement she had was really to be more competent and passionate about caring for the sick ... research that she felt hopefully will bring cures."

Today's funeral comes less than a week after Le was memorialized at a service on Long Island where her fiancé, Jonathan Widawsky, lives. Le's body was found the day she and Widawsky, who met at the University of Rochester, were to be married.

Widawsky is studying physics as a graduate student at Columbia University.

Family Statement: 'Annie Was Loved by Everyone'

In a statement released to Yale University Friday, Le's family said the 24-year-old will be "profoundly missed."

"Annie was loved by everyone who knew her and special to all those who came in contact with her," the statement read. "She was a kind-hearted human being, who was devoted to her family and friends, always sacrificing her time to help others. Her laughter was infectious and her goodness was ingenuous."

Yale University announced that the school will hold its own memorial service Oct. 12 and has established a scholarship fund in Le's name.

According to Yale University's Web site, Le, who graduated at the top of her high school class in 2003, joined the Yale student body in 2007 as a graduate pharmacology student and was studying how fatty acids regulate an enzyme believed to be involved in the development of metabolic disease.

She would have earned her doctorate in 2013.

Members of the laboratory overseen by Professor Anton Bennett wrote in a statement to Yale University that Le was always up for a challenge and truly excited about her future as a researcher.

"Annie was a caring individual who would selflessly put the needs of others before her own," the members of the lab wrote. "She would never say 'I can't', but always, 'How can I help?'"

Le's accused killer has been repeatedly described as a man who seemed to have two very different personalities -- that of an outgoing and competitive all-American boy and that of a control freak who would allegedly abuse his girlfriends.

Clark is next due in court Oct. 6.

ABC News Correspondent Lisa Fletcher and The Associated Press contributed to this report.