Community Honors Suzette Nellis With First Memorial Walk on Oil City Bike Trail

| April 6, 2023

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – Community members came together on Wednesday, April 5, to participate in the First Memorial Walk for Suzette Nellis, a local woman whose body was found near the bike path between Osbourne Street and Mineral Street in Oil City last month. Her death was ruled a homicide.

(Photo above: Pastors Sandra Jones and Michael Parsh of Good Hope Lutheran Church.)

(Pictured: Community members gather to listen to Pastor Jones as she begins the memorial walk.)

The event was organized by Reverend Sandra Jones, the lead pastor at Good Hope Lutheran Church where Nellis was a devout member.

Reverend Jones aimed to raise awareness about violence against women and reclaim the bike path as a place of hope and safety for the community.

(Pictured: Marcy Suzette Nellis, 76, who was murdered near the bike path in Oil City.)

“Members of the congregation were coming to me out of their grief and frustration and saying ‘I need to do something,'” explained Jones. “We know that we can pray and support her family, but we felt like we still needed to do something with our grief.”

(Pictured: Community members wearing “We Walk for Suzette” t-shirts.)

“It seems natural to me to encourage walking and to come to the bike trail and reclaim the site as a place of hope, not as a place of fear,” added Jones.

Participants were invited to wear purple to signify their support for the cause.

(Pictured: Community members begin their approximately one mile walk in memory of Suzette Nellis.)

“We’re walking in remembrance of Suzette on the bike path, and we’re standing against violence in our community and especially (violence) against women,” said Rev. Michael Parsh, a Pastor at Good Hope Lutheran Church.

“We hope to take back the bike path as a place of safety and enjoyment for the community.”

Jennifer Friedhaber, a member of Good Hope Lutheran Church and Director at the Oil City YWCA, highlighted Suzette’s love for walking and the importance of the community staying safe.

(Pictured: A line of walkers beginning their trek to the spot near where Suzette Nellis was found.)

“She was trusting and kind, and she probably spoke to everybody along the way. She had a walk route—she was regimented on her morning walk route, and she was regimented on her evening walk route. She loved to walk. It was her prayer time,” said Friedhaber. “Rather than being alone, we should always be with someone. We need to be with other people.”

(Pictured: An Oil City Police Officer drives behind the walkers along the bike trail.)

The walk started with a prayer at the Oil City Marina. From there, participants walked approximately one mile to the area near Penelec where Nellis’ body was found. Another prayer was offered there.

For those who could not make the walk back to the marina, shuttles were provided.

Officers from the Oil City Police Department drove along the bike path to ensure the safety of walkers.


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Category: Events, Local News, News

Gavin Fish is a reporter for EYT Media Group and YouTuber based in Venango County. In addition to his YouTube Channel, he has contributed to investigations and reports for ABC News, Investigation Discovery, and Fox Nation, and has collaborated on projects developed for Netflix, Oxygen, Discovery Channel, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
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