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Neighbors celebrate slain Lexington woman's colorful life

Pink lemonade with rosemary, candles, incense, and soothing music from a house across the street greeted those who came Thursday night to an outdoor memorial service for Liese Carr.

About 100 people gathered in front of 714 Aurora Avenue, where the front porch was decorated with potted plants, wind chimes and mirrored mobiles. Carr had lived in the yellow house for more than eight years.

Some knew Carr as a free spirit who was a talented artist, a wonderful cook and a lover of animals, especially cats and horses. Others didn't know her at all.

For Carr's neighbors, whether they knew her or not, the service was a way to come together and try to heal after a brutal, shocking slaying.

Carr, 53, died Saturday of multiple stab wounds. Roderick Blincoe, 51, whom she apparently knew, has been charged with murder.

Esther Hurlburt, a Unitarian Universalist minister and a neighbor, said a few words, as did some close friends.

"I don't want to embarrass anyone, but we did run naked in the moonlight," said Charlotte Vice, a longtime friend. Later, she elaborated that she and Carr had eaten a satisfying meal at Carr's home, noticed that there was a full moon and just "had to honor it."

Another close friend recalled Carr and another friend giving her her first puff from a marijuana cigarette.

At yard sales outside her home, Carr sold furniture she had painted in primary colors with intricate designs. She cooked many meals for friends, using old family recipes. Her pork tenderloin and biscuits were the best, Vice said.

Carr grew up on Parkers Mill Road in Lexington, living with her mother, two aunts and a cousin. Carr's father died of a heart attack before she was born; her mother died of cancer when Carr was in her 20s.

The family boarded horses, and Carr loved to ride them as a youngster.

She graduated from Lafayette High School and attended the University of Kentucky, friends said. Carr, who didn't like jobs where she had to punch a clock, worked for a time at Amazon.com.

"I'm here to preach the gospel of hope," Hurlburt said at one point in the service.

Former U.S. Rep. Larry Hopkins, who had known Carr since she was a child, said his gospel of hope was "that the animal that caused this death gets his due."

Near the end of the service, those attending planted a small dogwood tree in Carr's front yard, each taking turns putting handfuls of dirt over the balled roots.

Later, they sang Lean on Me.

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