A celebration of life will be held Saturday for Carissa MacDonald and Aaron Stone.
The Hamilton couple were shot and killed by their landlord outside their home on May 27 — a sudden, violent end to the life they were building together, devastating their families, friends and community.
"Carissa and Aaron were hard-working, respectful, generous, joyful, such giving and caring people, willing to help anyone who needed it, from a stranger in need of help on the road, to a struggling child," says their obituary published in the Hamilton Spectator on Tuesday.
"The ripples flowing outward from these two beautiful souls will never end."
Stone, 28, was a third-generation electrician who had recently completed his five-year apprenticeship, said a statement from their families that was released by police last week. He was "very respected" in his union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 105, and had passed his exams with "flying colours."
"After a long day of work, Aaron could always be found working on his truck or tinkering around doing some mechanic work," the families' statement said.
MacDonald, 27 and originally from Huntsville, is described by her family as a "dedicated" educational assistant with the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board who worked with students with special needs.
"She loved her job, her school family and all of 'her kids' as she called them," their statement said.
The couple loved the outdoors and their dog Max, who they took with them everywhere.
Over $29K raised from community
MacDonald and Stone lived in the basement unit in Stoney Creek for about five years, their close friend Victoria Green previously told CBC Hamilton. In January, they expressed concerns about a mould problem and that nothing was being done about it by the landlord.
The couple were planning to move out in the coming days and have a summer wedding.
Instead, their families are planning their funeral and fundraising to help cover the costs.
The 57-year-old landlord was in an hours-long standoff with police and died in a shootout.
A GoFundMe campaign for MacDonald and Stone has raised over $29,500. It was set up by Dave and Angele MacDonald, who say they're MacDonald's aunt and uncle.
"We are blown away by this and there are no words that can express the degree of gratitude we have for your support," they posted to the site. "This is a very tough time for the families to deal with funeral costs. And now we learnt of the legal costs that will be involved since [two] young people like Carissa and Aaron had no will."
The celebration of life is at Marquis Gardens in Hamilton. The families say in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a children's charity or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).