Family, Friends Say Goodbye to Celina Cass

Fourth-grader remembered at 'celebration of life'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2011 8:09 AM CDT
Celina Cass Remembered at 'Celebration of Life'
Matina Fenoff hangs a poster before a memorial service for Celina Cass on Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 in Canaan, Vt.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

(Newser) – As family and friends wait for answers in the death of 11-year-old Celina Cass, they celebrated the fourth-grader's life last night in a school gymnasium where she used to play basketball. "Evil took a child away, but a message returned," said a reverend, reading from a poem a parishioner wrote about Celina's death. A guitar player sang "Tears in Heaven" as about 300 family members and friends remembered Celina, a shy girl who was becoming more outgoing.

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The room was decorated with Celina's artwork, stuffed animals, and notes to her; a slideshow played images from her short life. "She would always say 'Hey, girl,'" one friend tells the AP. "She was always the type of girl that would always try to cheer us up." Adds a school nurse, "Everyone remembers Celina as a happy, loving girl with a beautiful smile that touched so many." (Read more Celina Cass stories.)

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