A final goodbye to beloved Stephanie Kuleba

Reporter: Stephanie Dukes

A day of grief and goodbye as family and friends remember a young life full of promise that was suddenly cut short.

Mourners arrived at St. Jude Catholic Church in Boca Raton Wednesday with very heavy hearts. Many still stunned by the loss of their friend, classmate and loved one, Stephanie Kuleba. "It's shocking. We're still getting over the fact that she died. It's very hard."

Those closest to her family describe her parents as inconsolable. "She's so innocent. She did not deserve any of this, ya know? No one deserves this."

Another adds, "They have a lot to lean on. She had a lot of friends, and people have been unbelievably supportive."

Stephanie was co-captain of the cheerleading squad at West Boca High and an honor student who had recently been accepted to the University of Florida.

Classmates who crossed paths with her everyday say she loved life, loved to learn and was always ready to help. "She always helped me with my math. At parties, she'd always be really happy; she'd make the party."

Friends and family say it will be a while before the loss fully sinks in. But their memories of this smiling girl with an always upbeat personality will remain strong. "I've just learned to appreciate life more often. I think everybody has."