Gone, but not forgotten



Elexene Mattingly put on her sunglasses, her eyes hidden from view. Her friends sat around her, ready to comfort her at any moment.

Mattingly, along with other members of the UK community, gathered in the Botanical Garden area to remember fallen friends, family and coworkers Tuesday, during the UK Remembers service.

An equine science and management junior, Mattingly came to remember her close friend, Connie Blount, a UK student killed in a hit and run accident in 2008.

“I met her on my first day at campus,” Mattingly said. “She recognized the perfume I was wearing, CoCo Chanel.”

Connie always had a way to make people smile, Mattingly said. Essentially, she was the most perfect person Mattingly had ever met.

“While (UK) is a place so large, the value of this place is directly related to the small things that were done by the people who are no longer with us,” said Everett McCorvey, director of Opera in the UK School of Music.

Behind the podium, a sign that read “UK Remembers” displayed remembrance cards, where attendees could post memories of loved ones. A card from Mattingly and her friends displayed the message “We (heart) Connie Blount.”

In attendance was Student Government President Ryan Smith to represent students.

“With the semester coming to a close, we often forget to stop and enjoy the ones we are around each day,” Smith said.

Smith said while the life of college students may be hectic, it is crucial for students to honor the contributions of those who are within the community.

Computer science junior Brian Johnson came to pay his respects to his close friend and former roommate Robbie Helton. Helton died two years ago in a car accident in Morgan County

“I just wanted to remember him,” Johnson said. “Not a day goes by that I don’t remember him. This is the best way I could think of to honor him.”

Johnson recalled memories of their times as roommates in Kirwan I, playing tennis and shooting Nerf guns in the hallways.

“This service is the first of its kind here at UK,” Smith said. “I believe it should serve as a model for other colleges around Kentucky, the nation and the world, as they seek to serve their communities as well.”

McCorvey said the memorial service served to recognize that those who have been lost are not truly gone.

“They are not apart from us, but they are a part of us,” McCorvey said. “For love is eternal, and those whom we love shall be with us for all eternity. To them we say thank you, we say rest well and we look forward to the day when we shall see them again.”