Published DateLACONIA — The line of people joining Lilyanna Johnson's family during calling hours on Saturday afternoon at St. James Episcopal Church queued around to Folsom Street with many of the mourners wearing her favorite colors — blue and purple.
From firefighters in their formal attire to students and their families to motorcycle club members wearing their colors, people came from far and wide to pay tribute to the young girl whose life was cut short March 19 after she was struck by a car while she was on the Messer Street Bridge sidewalk.
As part of the after-service at the Laconia Middle School where she was a student, a film featuring pictures of her with her family and friends was playing in the multi-purpose room. Mourners said quietly and in groups of three or four weeping silently and they watched the pictures of the bright and smiling young girl who friendship was lost in a mere instant.
Others joined together in the cafeteria and outside on picnic tables quietly taking about their friend.
Lily's calling hours Saturday ended a rough week for the Laconia School District and the entire city who joined together to provide emotional and physical support for her family and friends.
She played softball, basketball, volleyball and lacrosse for the Laconia Middle School. She was remembered by her friends and peers as a truly nice young lady who always had kind words for everyone.
She was stuck by a car along with fellow middle schooler Allyssa Minor just after school got out on the Friday that begins the annual spring vacation week. Minor survived her injuries and is recovering at home.
School Administrators kept the middle school open and many counselors, administrators and teachers joined young mourners and the parents as the tried to understand their recent loss.
Mayor Mike Seymour and members of the Laconia City Council were among the mourners who were at the church on Saturday.
"We have come together in a way that I had hoped we would," said Seymour speaking for the city government. He said he couldn't say enough about the communal efforts of the Police Department, who were represented by Chief Chris Adams and Capt. Matt Canfield, the city, the School District, the Fire Department and the community who joined them in mourning the city's loss.
Seymour also wanted to thank the Beane family of Wilkinson Beane Simineau Pauquette Funeral Home and Crematory for all their assistance to the city and the family.
"It gives us encouragement when the chips are down," he said.
Many School Board members also attended and volunteered for Saturday's event.
Principal Eric Johnson said Lily's death makes us realize just how insignificant some things are when faced with a tragedy. He wanted to express his gratitude to the entire community for the help his teachers and counselors have gotten during the past week.
He said he was grateful the tragedy occurred at a time when young students, some of who saw her get hit, were able to spend time with their parents and families who can help them understand what happened.
School Board Chair Joe Cormier said this was one of the saddest weeks he's had in his time on the School Board but said he was grateful and proud of how the community joined with the city to help during the past week.
"We all see and appreciate each other and the things everyone has done for us," Cormier said.