Memorable Memorial - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2231553

Memorable Memorial

On January 27, family and friends celebrated a Mass at St. Rosalie’s Church, followed by a gathering at Hampton Bays High School, in honor of Colleen Marie Vanderlip. It was a tremendous outpouring of love and support from the Hampton Bays community.

When Colleen knew time was running out, she and Jamie asked to have a memorial in her hometown of Hampton Bays, knowing it would help with the grieving process. They were right.

Thank you to St. Rosalie’s consolation minister, Eileen Randolph, who so kindly walked us through the steps necessary to arrange the Mass. It was beautiful.

A very special thanks to Lars Clemensen, superintendent of Hampton Bays schools, who welcomed us into the high school, giving us a perfect place to gather and share stories and hugs. He was with us the whole time, helping with logistics and even serving pizza.

This venue allowed Colleen’s three little boys, and so many others, to run in the gym where she spent hours playing ball, take pictures of Mommy’s banners on the wall, see her name on the salutatorian plaque in the lobby and wander the halls of her alma mater. It was quite moving.

Thanks also to the director of physical education, John Foster, and vice president, Mike Morgan, for presenting Jamie and the boys jerseys with Colleen’s name and number. It was such a moving touch added to an emotional day.

A very special thank you to Jeanne Polan and Toni Dossiano for raising funds for the bench and plaque at the Red Creek Little League Field, where Colleen played softball. All extra donations have already been deposited into the three boys’ college funds. Thank you all for your generosity.

More special thanks to John and Tricia Maloney for the slide presentation, the book of pictures and framed photo of the bench. Their love and support were evident as John spoke of Colleen and the impact she had on Hampton Bays, in softball and beyond.

Since we moved from Hampton Bays two years ago, after 46 years as part of this wonderful, close-knit community, we could not have made this weekend work without the generosity of dear friends who literally opened their homes to us. We can never thank you enough for giving us the comfort of a place to stay and gather for a casual meal. You are all loved and greatly appreciated.

Finally, we would like to thank Cailin Riley of The Press for painting with words such a beautiful picture of Colleen and her impact on others during her too-short life [“Memorial Service Planned for Hampton Bays Graduate Colleen Price Vanderlip,”, January 17]. She touched many more people than she could ever have realized.

Many thanks to all from the Vanderlip, Price and Wolff families.

Paul and Eileen Price

Fitchburg, Wisconsin, and Deland, Florida