PARSONS, Ks. - It was hard to find an open seat at the memorial service for 7-year-old Lizzy Castorena.
And while the young girl had her life taken under horrible circumstances, friends and family chose to spend the evening focusing on sweeter memories of Lizzy, of which there were many.
"Lizzy was a happy little girl. She was friendly and spent time with young and old. She had sunshine and enthusiasm. She brought assurance and peace to people. She had a great smile that was infectious," said Reverend Darren Dusher with the Berean Baptist Church.
One of Lizzy's teachers shared with the crowd the impact the young girl made on her.
"Her fire and passion for the violin were obvious. She never stopped playing, even when the teacher was talking. I learned so much from her spirit. She was a constant reminder to me that yes, even the bunny song which is two notes is beautiful, especially when a 7-year-old that loves the violin is playing it," said Lizzy's violin teacher Lauren Burke.
Some Parsons moms whose kids played with Lizzy regularly, remember the young girl as a sweetheart who was smart as a whip.
"She was at my house. I was watching her as I was preparing for my daughter's first birthday. She said, 'Miss Amber, you misspelled 'Bailey.'' I said, 'I think I know how to spell 'Bailey' Lizzy, thank you.' And she said, 'Miss Amber, you forgot the 'Y.'' And I said, 'Go find something else to do, Lizzy,'" said Amber Klonowski, as she both laughed and cried.
And while Lizzy's mother Victoria needed privacy as she mourned her daughter, one of her friends explained just what Lizzy meant to her.
"One of the biggest things about Lizzy is she was Victoria's entire world. They were always together. That little girl never stayed with a babysitter until she was two or three-years-old. They were so connected. They were stuck at each other's hip," said Victoria's friend Tisha Karhoff.
Victoria Castorena's friends tell KOAM, Victoria wants to thank the Parsons Police Department for their help into the investigation of Lizzy's death, as well as Dr. Legler and his staff at Labette Health, and the staff of the University of Kansas Medical Center.
She also wants to thank the Forbes Hoffman Funeral Home for their generosity and assistance.
If you'd like to donate to help with Lizzy's funeral expenses, click here.
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- Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Copyright 2019 by KOAMNewsNow KOAM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.