Slain teen remembered for joyful life and faith

  • Written by Savio Pham
  • Published in Local
After a vigil Mass for Anna Bui on Aug. 3, mourners lit candles, signed their names on balloons and released them into the sky, symbolically sending their love to Bui. Photo: Savio Pham After a vigil Mass for Anna Bui on Aug. 3, mourners lit candles, signed their names on balloons and released them into the sky, symbolically sending their love to Bui. Photo: Savio Pham

EVERETT – Anna Bui expressed her faith through joy and laughter.

An altar server at Everett’s St. Mary Magdalen Parish, the 19-year-old was also active in the local chapter of the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement. 

Anna BuiAnna Bui. Photo: Courtesy Anny Bui

You could never find a person saying any bad thing about her,” said Ton Nguyen, a VEYM leader who taught Bui for many years. “All her life, she just wanted to help others.”

Bui and friends Jacob Long and Jordan Ebner were shot and killed July 30 during a party at a Mukilteo home. Another teen, Will Kramer, was injured. Bui’s former boyfriend has been arrested in the shootings.

Those who knew Bui remember her infectious peace and joy. In a Facebook post, VEYM leader Leslie Tran wrote, “I know you are watching us from up above, still smiling like you did every moment you were here.”

A 2015 graduate of Mukilteo’s Kamiak High School, Bui was a dean’s list student at the University of Washington Bothell. She loved to travel, friends said, and had visited France, Morocco, Belgium, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

“When I worked in Spain, Anna flew over to visit and hang out with me,” said Anny Bui, Anna’s older sister. “We got much closer as we grew older and I wish I had more time to spend with her. But I am happy because I know she is now in a much better place.”
At St. Mary Magdalen, Bui was an active and eager participant in the confirmation preparation program, and received the sacrament from Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, said Robert Brajkovich, the parish’s pastoral assistant for adult faith formation.

She had completed VEYM’s leader-in-training program and planned to serve as a leader in the movement after college, Nguyen said.

“She loved children,” her sister said, working as a nanny for several children even while busy with her studies. “Anna had many talents, but singing was what Anna loved the most,” her sister added. “She lived her faith by sharing her talents to others.”

vigil Mass for Anna BuiAt an Aug. 3 vigil Mass at Immaculate Conception Parish in Everett, Father Bryan Hersey, center, and Father Watson Paramasivam shake hands with Anna Bui's mother, Rachel Nguyen, father Hung Bui, and grandfather Giao Nguyen. Deacon Dennis Kelly is at left. Photo: Savio Pham

After a wake on Aug. 3, more than 300 Vietnamese Catholics, many from local VEYM chapters, attended a vigil Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Everett.

In his homily, Father Bryan Hersey, Immaculate Conception’s pastor, told the congregation that the sorrow and emptiness they felt were signs of love, not loss. “Just as the disciples grieved the loss of their Savior, it would be joy again on Easter Sunday,” he said. “Life is the last chapter of creation before the eternal life.”

After the Mass, mourners lit candles, signed their names on balloons and released them into the sky, symbolically sending their love to Anna Bui.