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Caity Phillips remembered as ‘bright, cheery’

Friends, classmates and others who knew Caitlyn Phillips sought consolation Monday, even as they remembered the teenage girl described as “bright and cheery.”

“She was an absolute delight,” said Gayle Haas, an administrative assistant and teacher at Calvary West Church in Sugar Grove. “We’ll all feel the loss.”

Phillips, 13, of Elburn, died Friday after colliding with a car while inline skating a few blocks from her home.

Police said witnesses indicated Phillips was skating downhill about 3:30 p.m. Friday before entering the intersection at East Reader Street and North Third Street. Police said she apparently was unable to stop and collided with a car, driven by an Elburn woman.

She was taken by ambulance to Delnor Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after 4:30 p.m.

The visitation is scheduled from 1 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Calvary West Church, 1600 Beta Drive, Sugar Grove. A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, also at the church.

As news of the accident spread over the weekend, so did an outpouring of affection for the girl known by many as “Caity.”

Many students Monday at Kaneland Harter Middle School, where Phillips attended classes, wore yellow as a tribute to Phillips, said Kaneland School District 302 Superintendent Jeff Schuler.

“That was entirely a student-organized expression of care,” Schuler said.

Schuler said the district organized its crisis team to make its full contingent of counselors and social workers available for students and staff. He said counselors talked with a steady stream of students about the incident throughout the day.

“There’s no doubt this has been a tough day for a lot of people at the middle school,” Schuler said. “It impacts students and adults in the building, alike.”

Schuler said the full array of counselors would remain in place for the next few days.

Haas, who was working at the church Monday, said Phillips had worked with her in the children’s ministry at the church. 

She recalled a young woman willing to pitch in and help wherever she could.

“Caity had quite the servant’s heart,” Haas said. “She was always willing to serve.”

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