Home News Local News Kaitlyn Doorhy’s vigil draws hundreds as candles, lanterns illuminate night sky

Kaitlyn Doorhy’s vigil draws hundreds as candles, lanterns illuminate night sky

Carrying candles and setting off lanterns shaped like hearts, over 400 people gathered around a memorial by the flagpole at Mattituck High School Wednesday night, to say good-bye to Kaitlyn Doorhy.

Doorhy died tragically on Friday after being struck by a car while away at college.

As the song “Landslide” played softly, the crowd was silent as her heartbroken parents Joe and Darla Doorhy and sister Carly knelt crying before the memorial, where a sea of candles, spelling out Doorhy’s initials, flickered in the dark night.

“We’re so humbled by all the love and affection all of you have shown to Kaitlyn and to our family,” Joe Doorhy said. “I never thought a community could be as close-knit as this.”

Reflecting on his daughter, Doorhy smiled. “She couldn’t afford herself,” he said, explaining that his daughter loved the “best of everything,” from designer clothes to Dom Perignon champagne.

When asked to help in the kitchen, she would say that one day, she’d “hire someone” for chores and gardening, he said.

“She pulled up my perennials and left the weeds,” added her mom Darla, smiling.

And, when he asked her to help mow the lawn, she “took out” a sea of perennials, her dad said, laughing. “I told her to get off the mower.”

Many mourners in the crowd were wearing pink T-shirts with the words “Kaitlyn Doorhy, Forever in our hearts, 6-12-94 to 8-22-14” on the front. On the back is Doorhy’s signature phrase, “Keep smiling, beautiful”, with the initial “K” adorned by angel wings. Proceeds from the T-shirts will be donated to Doorhy’s sorority, the Kappa Delta Sorority at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, in her honor.

Looking out at the sea of supporters who’d come to remember his sweet girl, Doorhy said, “I’m sure Kaitlyn loves this. She’s probably got a big smile on her face, watching all you’ve done for her.”

Her family brought Doorhy’s beloved white Dodge Charger, with special red reflector lights she’d had installed beneath the car, to the vigil.

A close family friend remembered Doorhy at eight or nine, when she first got braces. “She wore those badges like a badge of honor,” he said. “She let us all know that it was going to be okay. I think she’s telling us the same thing now.”

Always positive, family friend Sharon Demopolous said, of Doorhy, “I never saw her without a smile.”

Her grandfather also said that he’d love her forever.

Guests at the vigil were able to write their memories and place them in a large box that will be locked and brought to the funeral home; the key will be buried with Doorhy, so only she can open it, said Molly Waitz, who also set up the memorial Facebook page, Rest in Peace, Kait Doorhy.

Smiling through his tears, Joe Doorhy once again thanked the crowd for their outpouring of love and Waitz, for organizing the vigil, a “beautiful” tribute to his daughter’s life. “Kaitlyn lived on top,” he said. “She had a better life in 20 years than I’ve had in 53.”

The crowd bowed their heads in prayer and later, as the song “A Sky Full of Stars” played, released a sea of illuminated white and heart-shaped pink lanterns into the velvet night sky above Mattituck High School, where Kaitlyn Doorhy left a forever legacy of accomplishments and memories in the hearts of all who shared thoughts of her Wednesday night.

Funeral services for Doorhy will begin today from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m at the DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Homes, Inc., located at 13805 Main Road, Mattituck, N.Y. 11952. Liturgy of Christian Burial will take place on Friday at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church, opposite the funeral home. Interment will follow at Sacred Heart R.C. Cemetery in Cutchogue.

Kaitlyn Doorhy’s family requests that guests please wear bright, festive clothing to celebrate her life.


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SoutholdLOCAL video by Liza Coppola.