Monica Quan, Keith Lawrence remembered by friends, family
February 24, 2013
Randal Quan said that he always called his daughter niu-niu, which means “little girl” in Chinese.
Whenever he called her Monica, even when she was an adult, she assumed she was in trouble with her dad.
“Daughters always take care of mom and dad, I’m not going to have that,” Randal Quan said during his daughter’s eulogy.
Dressed in black and gray, friends and family gathered to honor the lives of Monica Quan and her fiancÃ© Keith Lawrence at Concordia University in Irvine on Sunday afternoon. The joint service filled the University Arena as well as the campus church to capacity.
Former Long Beach State basketball player Monica Quan, 28, and Lawrence, 27, were found dead in a parking structure in Irvine on Feb. 3, according to the Irvine Police Department. Both Lawrence and Monica Quan are said to be the first victims of ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner.
“Even though we feel that Keith and Monica were taken from here too early, I want all of you to know that my faith has not been shaken because of this,” Randal Quan said.
Monica Quan played basketball for LBSU from 2003 to 2005 before transferring to Concordia College in Irvine, according to LBSU Assistant Media Relations Director Andrea Ohta. Before her death, Monica Quan served as an assistant coach to the women’s basketball team at Cal State Fullerton.
“I felt so good about her and her family to become a part of our family at Long Beach State,” LBSU women’s basketball coach Tuonisia Turner said. “I had no doubt in my mind that she would be successful.”
At the service, Monica Quan’s best friend and former LBSU teammate Jayme Conner told stories of practical jokes and quirky nicknames that the girls gave to each other. Conner’s nickname for Monica Quan came from a popular Starbucks drink – Mo-cha LattÃ©.
“At the end of the day, she didn’t just make us better players but better people,” Conner said.
Monica Quan and Lawrence met while attending and playing basketball at Concordia.
“Keith and Monica both lived for others,” Chief of the University of Southern California Police Department and Lawrence’s former employer John Thomas said. “I don’t know very many people like that.”
Lawrence worked for the LAPD as part of the USC Police Department. Randal Quan, who referred to him as “Keith Quan,” mentored Lawrence and helped him land the job at USC.
When approaching the podium, Lawrence’s brother Kris Lawrence succumbed to tears and fought back sobs. However, after greeting the audience, he recalled stories about growing up with Keith Lawrence and sharing bunk beds up until they were in their 20s.
“His patience grew because of me, because I’m crazy,” Kris Lawrence said as attendees laughed. “He was so protective over me. He would not let anyone hurt me. I always know he was my best friend.”
A statewide manhunt was issued for Dorner after he became suspect of multiple homicides involving Irvine Police, the LAPD and Riverside Police. Dorner then barricaded himself inside a Big Bear cabin that burned down on Feb. 12.
“Their passing had purpose; I don’t know what that purpose is, but there is one,” Randal Quan said.