There were lots of tears and hugs as friends gathered Sunday to share their grief and memories of the young woman who died in a fall at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary.
That Mary Katherine Stewart, who was known as Katie, was loved was evident in what friends wrote on pages to be put into a memory book for her family.
“You lit up the room wherever you went,” one person wrote.
“I hope I can be as good, loving and full of passion as you,” said another.
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“Rest easy, beautiful soul,” another friend wrote. “You will continue to light up our world with your legacy of love.”
Stewart, 22, was a graduate of Notre Dame Academy in Northern Kentucky and was set to graduate this spring from Transylvania University.
She died as a result of injuries she received when she fell from a cliff at Raven Run on Saturday, where friends said she had gone hiking.
Stewart was a manager at Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge on Manchester Street, where she also handled marketing and social media, said owners Mike and Toa Green.
Scores of people attended an event Sunday to celebrate her life, lining up out the door on what normally would have been a slower evening on a chilly day.
Some took photos with their phones of signs at the store that Stewart had hand-lettered.
Everyone had a memory, about her fill-up-the-room personality, her can-do attitude, how she was crazy about cats, her jokes and funny dance moves, her love of holidays.
Stewart had an infectious giggle, was quick with a high-five and was an extremely hard worker, said Salvador Sanchez, owner of A Cup of Common Wealth coffee shop, where Stewart worked for about a year before going to Crank & Boom.
She cared deeply for other people, listening intently to their problems and lifting their spirits, Sanchez said.
“She was so much of an empath,” he said.
Stewart also had worked at Bullhorn Creative.
Toa Green said Stewart had planned to begin working full-time at Crank & Boom after graduation.
Stewart’s death was devastating, Green said.
“She was just so full of joy, and it radiated,” Green said. “She emanated that joy. Any person she met ... she would just become your friend.”
Crank & Boom and A Cup of Common Wealth said they would donate a portion of their proceeds to Stewart’s family, and there also is a GoFundMe page to help her family with funeral and other costs.