"She was a beautiful and loving baby" who grew into a woman "of class and style," Soares said at a Saturday memorial service for Lori Kay Hacking attended by about 800 family members, friends and many who never knew of her until she vanished four weeks ago.
Lori grew into an intensely private person who "kept everything inside of her," her brother said. "If she was here today, she'd be mortally petrified at all the attention. But this is the greatest tribute we could have."
Notably absent during the 90-minute program was any mention of Lori's husband, Mark Hacking, who has been charged with killing her and remains in jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
But members of Mark Hacking's family did attend the memorial, and his father, Douglas Hacking, gave the opening prayer.
"We truly appreciate the influence [Lori] has had in our lives," he said. "We've all been touched by her in some way. We pray her spirit will be here in abundance. We hope she can feel our love for her today."
The service at the Windsor LDS Stake Center reflected the Mormon belief that families will meet again in heaven, and a letter to Lori's family from LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley and his counselors in the First Presidency was read from the pulpit, assuring them she was in the care of her Heavenly Father.
And because Lori's body has not been found, her friends created a shrine to her life.
Visitors were greeted by videotaped home movies of Lori as a toddler, then were ushered into a room filled with dozens of photographs chronicling important events in Lori's life from infancy to adulthood - birthday parties, a piano recital, her baptism, sporting events, her high school and university graduations and her wedding.
Encased in glass were the booties, dress, rattle, bib and stuffed bunny that accompanied Lori home on the day of her adoption.
Locks of hair attest to Lori's first salon haircut at age 2. A tithing and donation receipt showed that in 1981, at age 4, Lori added $0.04 to the church's coffers.
The tribute ended with examples of the "missing person" fliers that were distributed far and wide during the search for Lori, where hundreds of volunteers combed the hills above Memory Grove in Salt Lake City.
"I think for all of us, Lori has become a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister and a niece," said Windsor Stake President Scott Dunaway.
In the chapel, many well-wishers lined up to shake hands, hug and weep with Lori's parents, Thelma and Hareld Soares.
"We live the eternal, everlasting life. That comforts us who have loved ones who have passed beyond," Wm. Grant Bangerter, an emeritus general authority in the LDS Church, said during the service. "The resurrection is a wonderful reality."
Dunaway acknowledged that heartache brings questions. But Lori, he said, was with God. "Will we see Lori again? Absolutely. Is she happy? Yes."
To the Soares and Hacking families, who have remained close, Dunaway said, "The world has been in awe for the love and comfort you have shown one another."
After the service, the Soares and Hacking families left the building together.
Ann Johnson, a family friend from Lindon, said the memorial service "brought a lot of peace and comfort. I don't think total closure will come until they find her body.
I know each family is hurting inside, but you don't hear a lot of bitterness and anger," she said. "There's a lot of caring and love and I think that's a great example after what's happened.
Salt Lake City Police Detective Dwayne Baird, who sat through the service with Lori's family, said everyone had hoped her remains would be found at the Salt Lake County Landfill in time for the memorial.
The search will continue, he said, "until we find her."
http://extras.sltrib.com/galleries/hackmem/gallery.asp">Photos from Lori Hacking memorial