The rain outside couldn’t compete with the tears inside of Our Lady of Loretto Church in Hometown, as family and friends gathered to say goodbye to Kaylah Lentine, 14, who was killed last week in a traffic accident.
The Hometown eighth-grader was struck by a pickup truck on May 24 as she attempted to cross the intersection of 93rd Street/Southwest Highway and Cicero Avenue. Kaylah had missed the school bus and was hurrying to Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School, where she was supposed to receive a leadership award at a morning awards assembly.
Young teens and their parents gathered in the back of Our Lady of Loretto, weeping as they watched a tribute video of Kaylah made by a teacher and classmates at OLHMS. The song “Open Arms” by Journey, one of the girl's favorites, played against a backdrop of the girl in happier days participating in school activities.
In another family video, Kaylah sang “Dust In the Wind” and clowned with her pet cat. Poster boards lined the back of the church, filled with snapshots of Kaylah as an infant until recently, when her life suddenly stopped.
Kaylah’s parents, her stepfather, grandparents and siblings all wore red ribbons with her name spelled out on them. Kaylah was to have graduated from OLHMS on Wednesday.
At the front of the church the girl lay in an open casket dressed in a pink party dress, while her mother stroked her hair.
Visitation will continue until 9 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at Our Lady of Loretto Church, 8925 S. Kostner Ave., in Hometown. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, June 1.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to a fund set up Kaylah’s memory. Contributions can be sent to the Fifth/Third Bank of Oak Lawn, IL, at 4400 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn, IL 60453, to the attention of Danielle Pernice. Please make contributions payable as follows: “For the Benefit of Kaylah Lentine."