NEW YORK — Mourners gather in Long Island to celebrate the life of Gabrielle Petito, the blonde hair, blue-eyed 22-year-old that captivated the world.
Her family, friends and even complete strangers but were touched by her story attended her memorial service.
It was filled with emotional eulogies that described Petito as a fun, loving and adventurous spirit.
“Gabby is the most amazing person I’ve ever met," her father, Joseph Petito, said.
Her loved ones said she loved traveling, yoga and van life. That spirit is what her father hopes will encourage others to live their life to the fullest.
“If there is a trip that you guys want to take, take it now. Now that you have the time," he said.
Petito's father went on to talk about the opportunity for her travel at a young age. He said it was a gift.
Her stepfather, Jim Schmidt, said her love for adventures also taught him a valuable lesson.
“Gabby, at 22-years-old, helped teach me that you can always make money, but you can’t make up for lost time," he said.
Schmidt and Petito said they would cherish their time with her forever.
“It’s okay to mourn for Gabby. It’s okay to feel sorrow or pain, but we want to celebrate her and her life," Schmidt said.
A life filled with adventures and love.
"She genuinely loved people," Petito said. “I want you to be inspired by Gabby.”
He said he was proud to be Gabby's father.
As her family and friends celebrate her life, they ask people to donate to the Gabby Petito Foundation. They hope to help others in the future with the fund.