CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. - Close friends and family filled the church for a Mass Thursday morning remembering the life of 17-year-old Deanna Rivers, one of the Shenendehowa seniors, killed in Saturday night's Northway crash.
The 90 minute funeral mass was held at Clifton Park's St. Edward the Confessor Church. Hundreds filled the church to remember Deanna as a loving daughter, good student, and someone who could always put a smile on your face.
During the service, loved ones read from her college admissions essay about what inspired her to want to be a teacher.
Among those in attendance was Deanna's boyfriend Matt Hardy who was injured in the accident Saturday night. He was brought to the church by ambulance from Albany Med where he is still recovering from his injuries.
The funeral was followed by a burial service at St. Paul's Cemetery in Mechanicville.
The community gathered on Wednesday night for the wake and on Tuesday night, thousands of people gathered at a candlelight vigil honoring Deanna and fellow Shen senior Chris Stewart.
Friends and family filed into the St. Edward the Confessor Church for Deanna's wake. "She always put a smile on everyone's face and could brighten up any room," said Natalie Mayo, one of Deanna's classmates.
It was just last week Rivers celebrated her 17th birthday. She had plans to go to a local college and become a teacher. She was loved by many, including students like Leandra Spiak. "I was crying one day and she came over and asked if I wanted to talk," she said.
Friends describe her as a popular softball athlete, always willing to go the extra mile to make someone's day better. "If I could describe her in one word I would say she is flawless," Spiak said.
The lives Deanna touched were countless as was evident during Tuesday night's vigil.
Even crash victim Matt Hardy took to the field to support Deanna and give her friends a sign of hope.
Deanna's funeral was held Thursday at 10 a.m. at St. Edward the Confessor Church at 569 Clifton Park Center Road, with burial in St. Paul's Cemetery, Mechanicville. Her family has set up a scholarship in Deanna's name.
Remembrances can be made to the Deanna Marie Rivers Memorial Scholarship, c/o Shenendehowa Central School, 5 Chelsea Place, Clifton Park, 12065, in loving memory of Deanna.
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