Remembering the victims of the Farmington mass shooting

FARMINGTON, N.M. — Farmington is honoring the three grandmothers who made it their life’s work to support their community.

79-year-old Shirley Voita, 97-year-old Gwendolyn Schofield, and 73-year-old Melody Ivie lost their lives in a mass shooting Monday.

You can find what the families shared about the victims below.

Shirley Voita

Shirley and Michael Voita have been married for 57 wonderful years. They have three daughters and two sons, 14 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

Shirley was a school nurse by profession, which she loved, and was joyfully devoted to her family, friends, church, and community. She volunteered for over 20 years at the senior center preparing taxes, Birthright and Daily Bread. Shirley found great joy in helping and encouraging others.

The family would like to thank all of the first responders and all those who heroically stepped in during this tragic crisis. The world is a better place for the 79 years she was with us. 

Gwendolyn Schofield

Gwendolyn Dean Schofield is the mother of four children. She and her late husband Ray Dean moved to Farmington in the mid-90s to be near their daughter, Melody and her family. 

After Ray’s passing, Gwen married Charles Schofield, a long-time resident of Farmington, and spent the next 14 years taking care of each other. 

Gwen was a schoolteacher for her entire life.  She loved the outdoors, she loved being active, she loved teaching, she loved serving others both within her church and within the community, including the DUI Literacy program. 

She has 26 grandchildren and innumerable great and great-great-grandchildren. 

You would often find Gwen baking and checking in on her friends around town. She was an avid humanitarian in her own community as well as worldwide. She was very generous and felt that continued education was a top priority, setting up a trust to help with her great-grandchildren’s educational needs. 

She will be loved and missed by more than just her posterity. She has been a great example and will continue to shape our lives with her wisdom, guidance, teachings, and memories.

Melody Ivie

Melody was a longtime resident of Farmington with her late husband Dennis Ivie. She is the mother of eight children, 24 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

She loved her family, her faith, and her friends. She was passionate about serving others. For 40 years, she owned and operated Ivie League Preschool, serving several generations of families in the community. 

She loved her preschool children and they loved her.  She has had multiple grand-students over the years. Even as adults, these students remember the love and kindness Mrs. Ivie gave them.  She loved unconditionally all she met.

Her love spanned oceans as she served a mission for her church in Ghana, Africa allowing her love and example to go global. Melody’s death leaves a hole in this community that will be hard to fill.