Lynne Z. McCoy, a popular real estate agent who was murdered four days before Christmas, was remembered by more than 700 mourners at her funeral yesterday as a gentle friend, mentor and neighbor with a big heart and open manner.
"In her dealings . . . she could have limited her showings" to people with a demonstrated ability to buy, the Rev. Thomas Kryder-Reid told a standing-room-only congregation at St. Batholomew's Episcopal Church in West Baltimore. "Her calling as a real estate agent was opening doors, not closing them," he said. "Her way must continue to be our way."
Mourners filled every pew and overflowed St. Bartholomew's at 4711 Edmondson Ave. They stood along the walls and watched the service on a television monitor in a room downstairs.
Father Kryder-Reid said Mrs. McCoy's faith led her to help people from all backgrounds buy houses in middle-class neighborhoods. A friend said after the service that Mrs. McCoy worked to integrate parts of West Baltimore.
Her funeral drew a racially mixed gathering in a neighborhood where she did much of her work.
Mrs. McCoy, 57, of the 500 block of Chapelgate Lane, was beaten to death Dec. 21 inside a house that was for sale in the 800 block of Glen Allen Drive in Hunting Ridge, a few blocks from the church. Her body was found in an upstairs closet in the home, which she had shown to a young man she thought was a prospective buyer.
Kenny Lamont Brooks, 21, of the 2700 block of St. Paul St., has been charged with her murder. He was arrested in Danville, Ill., while driving the victim's 1993 Chrysler New Yorker. He had some of her credit cards in his pocket, police said.
They said that Brooks, who was on parole for auto theft and a probation violation, posed as a homebuyer to commit the robbery. He was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape, robbery and robbery with a deadly weapon.
Father Kryder-Reid told Mrs. McCoy's friends that she is now safe.
"How can we know what's ahead for Lynne? How can we know what's ahead for her family and friends?" he asked. "We can be certain of one thing. She will be safe. She already is safe."
He spoke of Mrs. McCoy's love of gardening and singing. He said she often would plant flowers in the yards of unsuspecting friends and neighbors to beautify their gardens as an act of love.
"When she wasn't gardening, she was singing," the priest said. "She was determined to show God's presence and splendor to a darkened world."
Patricia M. Alt was a friend of Mrs. McCoy for 18 years. She said the woman was her role model and had been her real estate agent "several times" during their friendship.
"She was just so real," said Mrs. Alt of Hunting Ridge. "She cared about everybody. She worked for the schools and convinced me keep my children in the city's public schools. She had a strong faith. She also had more energy than any three people I know."
Mrs. Alt's teary-eyed daughter, Emily, 16, Mrs. McCoy's goddaughter, remarked: "All I can say is that she was the most alive person I know. Very compassionate."
Judy Smith, who worked for five years with Mrs. McCoy at the O'Conor, Piper & Flynn office in Columbia, called her a mentor who took pride in selling houses in the West Baltimore communities around Hunting Ridge.
"She was a strong lady, always giving," she said. "Everything she did was with a smile."