SPOKANE, Wash. — Ana Vetter's parents and husband were here tonight along with dozens of people who knew her, loved her and respected just how hard she worked each day. KREM 2 also heard from a man who was right next to Ana when she lost her life.
Those who worked alongside Ana over the years say she never complained about doing the hard work, or lifting the heavy things. She even volunteered to help out at the union on her days off.
"I'll be honest, I'm still in a little bit of shock," Local 59 President Antonio Acosta said. "Here two Saturday's ago, she was over there right in that corner helping paint this hall."
Thursday night inside the Carpenters Local 59 building, tradespeople honored the 27-year-old killed at the construction site of the Spokane Tribe Casino expansion.
They all agreed Ana was as tough as nails, but always had a smile on her face, even during early morning meetings.
"You blazed a path of love and life into this sometimes not so welcoming industry," Local 59 Lead Rep. Tony Edwards said.
Ana's husband sat in the front row alongside her mom and dad.
"As a parent, you know how special your children are," Ana's mom, Sandi Vetter, said. "I'm so grateful that she found a path to this type of work, it just made her come alive."
"She loved what she did, and I'm so grateful she had all these people supporting her all the time," Ana's dad, Paul Vetter, said.
Ana was proudly sworn in at Local 59 just days before her death.
"The true reality is you can't ever be prepared for death to grab you or the one's you're working with," Co-worker Brady Devons said.
Devons was working with Ana, standing next to her when it happened.
"The ground beneath her feet opened up like a trap door and she was gone," Devons said. "As all we could do was watch in disbelief. In that moment, her light had fallen into the darkness, her hands reaching for anything to grab. But, the darkness of death is no match for Ana, for her flesh is cold now but her holy spirit that was in her heart has risen Ana to a place I am jealous of."
While there's still plenty of questions about what happened that day, there's no question that Ana was one of a kind.
"Her dues are paid," Acosta said. "Her books are closed."
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