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Memorial held in skatepark in honour of recently deceased Kitchener, Ont. woman


On a sunny Saturday afternoon in Waterloo Park, the sounds of skateboards gliding across pavement filled the park as family and friends of Jaqueline McDermott gathered to remember the young woman.

"The first time I met her, she had such a bright smile, she was just kind of glowing all the time,” explained Dan Maloney, a friend and organizer of the event.

“She was just the person you wanted to be around,” he said.

Maloney added the two became fast friends as they skateboarded together and would often trade art.

McDermott, 22, was reported missing in early October while she was travelling through B.C. for a meditation retreat.

Last Sunday, her body was found by search and rescue crews. Police do not believe any criminal activity was involved in her death.

Jacqueline McDermott's memorial was held at a skate park in Waterloo on Oct. 15. (Taz Dhaliwal/CTV News Kitchener)

McDermott’s uncle, Justin St-Maurice said her spirituality was a guiding principle in her life.

"She really liked meditation and trying to be zen and really was just a very spiritual person, and that's how I'm going to remember her," stated St-Maurice.

Maloney described his late friend as someone who had a deep passion for skateboarding and art, two outlets McDermott used to connect with others.

"She had an art project called NDS - a nice day shining or whatever your own interpretation of it is, and I'd seen her stickers across the skate park,” Maloney said.

He added that McDermott was someone that was well-known and liked throughout the skateboarding scene in the Kitchener-Waterloo are.

Throughout Saturday afternoon, loved ones stopped by to place flowers at a makeshift memorial growing in the park. Beside it, a small art station had been set up where canvasses and key chains could be painted in memory of McDermott.

"She was a beautiful soul and shared that through her art,” said Tessa Kohler, another friend who met McDermott through her husband.

Kohler said she was the kind of person who could bring all kinds of people together.

"The skate community is so interwoven with art and fashion, so it all connects in one way or another,” Kohler explained. “It's really beautiful to see the community of everyone she touched come together and kind of become one."

St-Maurice said the family is thankful for all of the support they’ve received through this difficult time.

"We certainly appreciate the community and have learned how much of an impact Jaqui's had, and that's been really touching to us." Top Stories

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