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Teen Daughter Of Slain Fair Lawn Mom 'Lost Her Best Friend'

Mackenzie and Jeanette Willem
Mackenzie and Jeanette Willem Photo Credit: FACEBOOK

TRIBUTE: Jeanette Willem "was not much for attention," but the late Fair Lawn mom would've appreciated the tidal wave of love and support that has come her family's way, her grieving brother said.

A funeral service is scheduled this Monday for Willem, 43, who was slain at her job at Jamis Bikes in Northvale this week.

"Everyone has been so supportive," Matthew Willem wrote Friday afternoon, adding that his sister "would have loved seeing everyone come together during this time."

The shock and grief has barely subsided since news of Jeanette Willem's death was announced on Wednesday. A co-worker attacked her with a hammer at the bicycle company warehouse early that morning, authorities said.

Christian Giron, 24, was quickly taken into custody before being charged with murder and weapons possession, among other offenses. He was sent to the Bergen County Jail, where he'll likely remain until the case against him is resolved.

Longtime friend Andrew Sussman called the killing a "pointless and devastating crime."

Willem "was one of the kindest most caring people and wouldn't and couldn't hurt a fly," he wrote. "She was always there for everyone (not just in our circle). Anyone who knew her would say she was a one-of-a-kind friend."

"Everyone’s kind prayers mean so much," Matt Willem posted. Her life, he said, "was taken from all of us."

Encouraged by others, he's established a GoFundMe account dedicated toward paying for his sister's funeral or "any other cost during this time that will be hard on all of us."

SEE: Jeanette Willem, my sister and best friend (Go Fund Me)

Another fundraiser was established by Joanna Calabrese Berghuys of Emerson for Willem's daughter, Mackenzie, who's a senior in high school. The money raised from that campaign will do directly to the family, a GoFundMe spokeswoman said.

SEE: Support for Jeanette Willem’s daughter (GoFundMe)

Raised in Dumont, Jeanette was "a loving wife, daughter, sister, friend to many -- and most importantly a mom," Berghus wrote.

"As many of you know Jeanette and her daughter were inseparable," she added, noting that Mackenzie not only tragically lost her mother but also "her best friend in life."

Both of them "had just recently purchased her senior high school prom dress and were looking forward to sharing these special moments that were just ahead of them," Berghuys wrote.

"Jeanette touched so many lives, and always had a smile on her face doing so," she added. "It is imperative we come together to provide some relief for Mackenzie."

Willem was "a longtime and most valued member of our family," noted Carine Joannou, the president and CEO of Jamis & Nirve Bicycles, in a statement on behalf of the company.

"Jamis Bikes is a small and tight-knit group and Jeanette has been a dedicated member of our team for 20 years,” the statement added. “We are devastated.”

Although an obituary had not yet been published Friday afternoon, Matt Willem said visiting hours were scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1, at Vander Plaat Caggiano Funeral Home, Inc., 13-31 Saddle River Road Fair Lawn.


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