Funeral service honors murdered OC student Blaze Bernstein

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Funeral service honors murdered OC student Blaze Bernstein
Attendees at a funeral service for Blaze Bernstein were given spatulas and his favorite recipe.

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- A private funeral service was held Monday to honor Blaze Bernstein, the Orange County college student who was found dead in a Lake Forest park.

Family members and friends remembered Bernstein as a talented writer and a passionate chef, as well as a selfless volunteer.

Attendees were given spatulas with the last recipe he put together in the kitchen to celebrate his creativity in the kitchen.

The Bernstein family is asking the public to do good deeds in Blaze's name.

"We want people to do acts of kindness," said David Thalberg, a spokesman for the Bernstein family. "We want them to post them, we want them to do whatever they can in Blaze's honor. Because it's the kind of kid he was."

Bernstein, a University of Pennsylvania student, was last seen on Jan. 2. His body was found a week later after heavy rains uncovered a shallow grave in Lake Forest's Borrego Park.

A suspect described as a friend of Bernstein, 20-year-old Samuel Lincoln Woodward, has been arrested in connection with his death.

The service was closed to cameras, although members of the media were allowed to attend. A public service is expected to be held in the future.

The family has also established a website to honor Blaze's life as well as the Blaze Bernstein Memorial Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County for those who wish to contribute in his name.

Here is the statement issued by the Bernstein family:

"We are heartbroken.

As we lay Blaze to rest, we ask that communities around the world that were touched by Blaze's life, help us keep his memory and loving spirit alive. Blaze was on a path to repair our World and it is a moral imperative that we all take steps now to make sure that his dream is realized. We won't succumb to hate, bitterness, or disillusionment; we will use wisely the time we have left together.

When we stop crying we will start doing positive things to affect change. We ask that everyone work towards something good. Stop being complacent. Do something now. In the months to come, as part of our healing process, we too will act to heal the world. That is what Blaze would want. We still believe that people are good. We have seen this firsthand in the tremendous amount of support we received from people everywhere. We can do this!

Please join us at to find out how each of us can spread light in Blaze's memory through acts of kindness. Our love and blessings to all."