The sky above Mattituck High School lit up with hundreds of floating lanterns Wednesday night as family, friends and community members paid tribute to Kaitlyn Doorhy.
At one point the ceremony had to stop as the wind carried some lanterns into the trees, something Carly Doorhy said her sister would have found humorous.
“She’s definitely looking down at us from heaven smiling and laughing,” Ms. Doorhy said. “It’s been beautiful.”
The floating lanterns were part of a candlelight vigil held in memory of Ms. Doorhy, a 2012 Mattituck High School graduate.
Many people wore pink, her favorite color, and gathered around her white Dodge Charger parked on the school’s lawn.
Ms. Doorhy’s father, Joseph, said he and his family appreciate the support his family has received from the community.
“It’s overwhelming the way this community has come together for us,” Mr. Doorhy said. “There are no words to express our gratitude.”
Visitors to the vigil also dropped letters into a box, which will be presented to her parents. The box will be on display at Thursday’s memorial services and the key for the box’s lock will be buried with Ms. Doorhy, said Molly Waitz, a friend who established the memorial by the flagpole at the high school where Wednesday night’s ceremony was held.
Ms. Doorhy, an aspiring attorney, was a former Strawberry Festival queen. She was struck by a car while crossing the street near her sorority house in Bridgeport, Conn., shortly after noon Friday. A junior at Sacred Heart University, she was 20 years old.
Services for Ms. Doorhy, who is survived by her parents, Joseph and Darla, and her sister Carly, will be held in Mattituck, according to her obituary. Visitors are invited to attend services Thursday, Aug. 28 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home on Main Road in Mattituck. A funeral mass will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church. Interment will follow at Sacred Heart R.C. Cemetery in Cutchogue
Memorial donations to Kappa Delta Sorority at Sacred Heart University would be appreciated, according to the funeral home, which is providing donation envelopes.