HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Many people came pouring into the Hedgesville High School's football field to remember Denise Burditus Thursday night.
Many wrote words of encouragement and embraced one another as they mourned the loss of Burditus.
Pastor Thomas Snyder led the ceremony. He said he knew Denise since she was a kid and always remembered her smile.
“She had almost like a tom boy haircut at that time, and as she grew up, she went into that Dorothy Hamill feathered hair. The smile was the first thing you would see about Denise,” said Tom Snyder, Pastor, Back Creek Valley Full Gospel Church.
During the vigil, there was music and prayers to go along with the lighting of the candles.
At the vigil, there were classmates from Hedgesville High School's Class of 1985, who were there to show their respects towards Burditus.
“It's good to see a community come together in the ugliness and put that out there in a text to the girls today. That needs to happen. It needs to happen all the time,” said Lisa Griffith, classmate.
Denise was married for 32 years to Tony Burditus.
Tony served in the Army, and because of that, Denise and him lived in different places.
Even through it all, her high school friends said she always kept in touch.
“We connected on Facebook again. She never failed to make us laugh and carry on,” said April Strakal, another classmate.
Even during difficult times, Snyder said he wants everyone to let love conquer hate as they remember Denise.
“Her death is tragic, but it is awesome to get reconnected with people, get with people, hug people and tell people that we love them and [are] glad to see them again,” said Snyder.
The funeral arrangements have not yet been set.