Mourners packed Malvern Methodist Church on Saturday to pay their respects to Jean Springer, a beloved wife and mother who was shot to death on New Year's Day.

The popular 60-year-old nicknamed "Auntie Jeannie" was also remembered at her funeral for her community work. She often organized leadership events at the church.

"This is a coming together and a reunion and a day of hope that what happened to this family will make a change and we pray that it will be a positive change," said community member Maureen Clark.

"You could not meet a kinder, gentler, better person than she. She was genuine, always willing to help everybody and her love radiated throughout."

Springer died Monday afternoon after being shot in the face after answering the door at her Malvern home on Snowball Crescent.

Reports suggested she may have been trying to protect her 26-year-old son, who had been in an altercation with one of his peers.

Family friend Jermaine Pottinger, who knew Springer since he was a child, said it was a painful service to attend.

"She treated me like her own son," he said. "I'm just glad that I did know her while she was here."

Springer died from a single gunshot wound. She is the city's first homicide of the year.

The shooting was not gang-related, police said.

Hundreds of friends and family gathered at the church Tuesday night to mourn Springer's death and celebrate her life.

Youth pastor Marlon Mitchell described her as "quiet, charming, intelligent and very much understated in manner."

"Jean had a forgiving spirit and we are sure that she would want us to forgive whoever has committed this senseless act," Mitchell said.

Springer's husband has already done that. Arden-Ray Springer told the media he forgives his wife's killer.

Police arrested a 26-year-old man who is described as a friend of the family. Reports said the accused suffers from a mental illness.

Altaf Ibrahim is charged with first-degree murder.

With a report from CTV's Alex Mihailovich