Big turnout expected at KT’s funeral service
KATELYN Taylor may have walked the earth for only 19 years, but this bright and bubbly teenager left behind an eternity memories.
Up to 1000 people are expected to pack the Church of Apostles in Launceston, Tasmania today to farewell their beloved KT.
In a decision that would cost her life, Katelyn went for a swim at Marcoola Beach in the early hours of March 16 and drowned in some of the biggest swell to hit the Coast.
Katelyn had moved to Sippy Downs four weeks earlier to study primary education at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The story of the innocent but fatal decision to have a dip in the early hours of the morning is gut-wrenching.
Katelyn and a friend she had met while out clubbing in Mooloolaba, Johnny Sullivan, reportedly had been swimming for 20 minutes before the rip took hold of the couple, dragging them 40 metres out to sea.
Katelyn, a fit, capable swimmer, tried to fight it but eventually succumbed to the thrashing undertow.
"I'm just so glad she wasn't on her own. Katelyn was with him (Johnny) right to the end in his arms," her mother Gaylene told a Fairfax news
paper. "Her last words to (him) were 'I just can't stay awake any longer I'm exhausted'."
A grief-stricken Mr Sullivan was involved in a serious traffic crash on David Low Way minutes later.
Acting Detective Inspector Daren Edwards said the death was a "drowning accident" and the car crash resulted because of Mr Sullivan's state of distress.
Mourners have been asked to wear purple or green.
Gaylene said her daughter's coffin will be drapped in Richmond Football Club colours.
"We will have a big send off for her and her old school is helping out everywhere possible," Gaylene told the Daily.
"Later in day after we finish we will stand near her rowing sheds and let all the balloons go at about 6pm."
Katelyn's friend Riley Pearton said this afternoon's funeral would be chance for closure for hundreds shocked by Katelyn's death.
He said the funeral would be lengthy and would include an open casket.
"It will be tough but today will be about everyone coming together and being there for each other," Mr Pearton said.
"We are also shocked. We never thought something like this would happen to her, but this weekend we will all get together again and remember the good times we had."
A fundraising account has been set up for the Taylor family to cover funeral costs and to provide for Katelyn's sisters Chloe and Bride in their future endeavours.
Donate to Taylor family