Hundreds gather to pay respects to Hope Dell
FAYE Read's heart sings to know her daughter Hope enjoyed life right up to the very instant everything changed.
Hope Dell loved to sing. She loved to dance.
But most of all, the 17-year-old loved to make others smile.
More than 800 people packed the Events Centre at Caloundra yesterday to farewell their friend taken too soon in a car crash on Caloundra Rd last Thursday night.
Hope had spent the night enjoying dinner and Christmas shopping with her friends - happy, laughing and smiling - before the horrific crash which claimed her life.
The qualities of the caring Caloundra State High School girl were a common theme at her funeral yesterday, where the school's chaplain Stuart White led the proceedings.
"Hope: what an amazing name; that her parents would see fit to give her this name that she would grow to embody so perfectly," Mr White said.
"Hope personified hope, she grew hope, she spread hope to those who knew her, she lived with hope and she died with hope.
"In her mum Faye's words, 'it makes my heart sing knowing she enjoyed her life right up to the moment it all changed'."
Ben Wilkinson spoke on behalf of Jameson Routledge - the driver in the car Hope was passenger - expressing his deep loss for his best friend.
"She will always be with me; she's my everything and I'll love her forever," Jameson said.
Hope was born in a small West Australian mining town.
She and her twin sister Jade soon became celebrities of the community, adorable, blonde twins who captured everyone's hearts.
Faye and her girls then moved back to New Zealand to be near their grandparents, before Faye met Hope's would-be stepfather Scott.
With two children of his own, Stafford and Anais, the two families became one and the whole group moved to the Sunshine Coast when the girls were 10.
A slideshow of photos at yesterday's funeral showed Hope and Jade growing together through the years. Playing at the beach, climbing trees, playing in fairy costumes, making friends at school and finishing school.
Hope graduated Year 12 three weeks before her death.
She had planned to study social work at university or TAFE, with the eventual goal being missionary work overseas.
Through Mr White, Faye recalled her last hours with her beautiful daughter.
"The girls had a driving lesson to Peregian... we stopped there to enjoy a fresh juice and some lunch in the sun for an hour," Faye said in her letter.
"When we got back, Hope sat outside with me and drew a beautiful henna design on my foot.
"I remember sitting there watching her while she drew thinking how incredibly beautiful she was.
"She was an incredible, beautiful girl, not just outward beauty, but a deeper beauty that seemed to come so naturally to Hope.
"She was so pure of heart and I feel so proud and incredibly blessed to have shared my life with her."
As the funeral cortege left the Events Centre, mourners formed a guard of honour to farewell Hope one last time.
Faye offered endless hugs and comfort for Hope's young friends as tears flowed down their cheeks.
She took her place as one of the pallbearers.