RALEIGH — The three children lost both of their parents on the same day last month – one to murder and the other to suicide – and now an effort to raise money for them is coming to a close.
Kathleen Bertrand, 41, of Cary was shot and killed by her ex-husband in the parking lot of Cameron Village on Sept. 10 shortly after she arrived to work at Pier 1 Imports. Christopher Bertrand, 42, took his own life about four hours later.
As of Thursday, the fund initiated by Cameron Village for Kathleen Bertrand’s children had topped $25,000, far exceeding its $10,000 goal. The fundraising website, www.indiegogo.com/projects/229236, will be active through 11:59 p.m. Friday.
All of the money will go to Bertrand’s family. Her children – two daughters, 13 and 7, and a son, 11 – are living with her mother, Katie Goodman, in Florida.
“This is really going to help the kids,” Goodman said.
Goodman said the children have just started the school year and are dealing with the violent loss of their parents and their move to Florida “as well as to be expected.”
Police have not disclosed a motive for the murder-suicide, but court documents show that the threat of violence underlined the latter years of the Bertrands’ marriage. They divorced in December 2011.
About a year before the divorce, Kathleen Bertrand requested a domestic violence order at the Wake County courthouse, saying she was so “shaken up” by her husband’s erratic behavior that she left town for two weeks.
For the past two years, Bertrand was a member of Loxley Abbey, which she had attended with her children. The abbey will host a Celebration of Life service for Bertrand at 7 p.m. Friday at the center, 2401 Old Milburnie Road, Raleigh.
The founder of Loxley Abbey, Samantha Heart, says the service will end with fire dancing, trance dancing, and a general dance of life.
“These are some of the things Kathy loved so much,” Heart wrote in an email. “Especially when Kathy was stressed, she would call me and say, ‘Let’s dance, I need it!’ ”