SPRING HILL — Before she didn't show up at school Monday, before the squad cars arrived in her front yard, before the tears and prayers on her behalf, Lee-Anne Shoeman was a giver.
As a mother, a teacher and a frequent host for Christmas get-togethers, Shoeman lived for others. That's how the community remembered her Friday morning during a funeral at Turner Funeral Home.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, the Central High School English teacher was beaten to death by her longtime boyfriend after an argument, the Sheriff's Office said Friday.
Shoeman and Jerome Sheridan were having a dispute at the home they shared at 1267 Meredith Drive when, investigators say, Sheridan became enraged and struck Shoeman several times with his fists and other objects in the home. The Sheriff's Office wouldn't reveal what the fight was about, citing the open investigation.
Shoeman, 55, and Sheridan, 49, had been in a romantic relationship for years, investigators say.
Sheridan was arrested Monday in a mall parking lot in Hillsborough County after a brief search. Deputies said he tried to cut his wrists before he was apprehended. He has since been transferred to the Hernando County Detention Center, where he faces a charge of first-degree murder.
At Friday's service, about 100 students, friends and family members squeezed into the Turner chapel on Spring Hill Drive. A slide show flashed pictures of Shoeman and her family — standing on a pool deck, wearing leis and Hawaiian shirts, gathered around a birthday cake to blow out candles.
No one in her family spoke, but the minister read a eulogy written by her son, Brian Shoeman. He described her as a woman "born to be a mother," a lover of writing and a teacher in and out of the classroom.
"The world is darker today for her loss, yet remains a brighter place for her having been there," he wrote.
A large bouquet of white flowers topped her casket, with a note sticking out that read "Loving mother." Next to it was a smaller bouquet with a "Loving grandmother" banner and a small, pink-painted handprint pressed into plaster. It was from Shoeman's grandson, Ryan Bennett.
A line formed down the aisle as people stopped by the casket at the end of the service. Sniffles rippled through the room as they said goodbye.