Gabrielle Petito‘s life was honored in a public memorial service on Sunday, Sept. 26.
Family, close friends and hundreds of mourners gathered in Holbrook, N.Y. to pay their respects to the 22-year-old YouTuber in a funeral that was live-streamed. Several of Gabby’s family members and close friends delivered moving speeches during the service, including her dad, Joseph Petito, who shared words of remembrance in honor of his slain daughter.
“Gabby is the most amazing person I’ve ever met,” he said in his eulogy. “I’m asking that you guys to be inspired by the way she treated people, all people…She genuinely loved people.”
He added, “When you leave here today, be inspired by what she brought to the table,” and also said, “I couldn’t be more proud, as a father.”
Gabby was found dead last weekend in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming after going missing following a cross-country road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who authorities are currently searching for.
“If there’s a trip you want to take, take it, now,” Gabby’s father said in his eulogy. “Do it now while you’ve got the time. If there is a relationship that you’re in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it now.”
Gabby’s stepfather Jim Schmidt, who had traveled to Wyoming to help search for her and paid tribute to her at the site where her body was found, also spoke at the memorial service. He talked about a tattoo she had on her arm, which read, “Let It Be,” the title of the famous song by The Beatles, one of her favorite bands.
“It’s okay to mourn for Gabby. It’s okay to feel sorrow and pain,” he said. “But we want to celebrate her and how she lived her life. We need to hold on to all of those wonderful memories we shared with her because that will be the answer. Let it be.”
In lieu of flowers, Petito’s family is asking for donations to foundation they plan to launch in her name.