Community mourns loss of friend

Hundreds gather in grief to reflect on UK student’s life

Her smile was infectious, her spirit was contagious, and friends and family who shared their memories of Connie Blount at her memorial service yesterday said she was the best friend any of them had ever known.

Blount, 18, was killed in a hit-and-run accident early Sunday morning while crossing the intersection of South Broadway and West Maxwell Street.

More than 250 people packed the Baptist Student Center last night to reflect on the life of a girl who they said spread joy everywhere she went.

“I knew there was a God when she smiled,” said Jack Blount, Connie’s father. “Light shined out so bright it almost blinded me sometimes.”

Jack Blount and his wife, Cindy, plan to take their daughter’s body back to their home in Park City, Utah tomorrow. Blount’s father said the family wanted to have a service on campus because so many people had called to share their love and support after his daughter’s death.

“I can’t begin to describe how much this service means to us,” Jack Blount said, holding back tears. “To see all the love here that she gained in just seven months in Kentucky — all of these people. Tonight truly has strengthened us.”

Blount, a freshman, was a member of the equestrian team and came to UK to pursue her love for horses, Jack Blount said.

Cary Campbell, a member of the equestrian team, said Blount’s upbeat personality was an unmatched presence on the team.

“Connie bubbled at life, either at the barn, studying at 3 a.m. for a chemistry test or out with her friends,” said Campbell, a freshman.

“People will remember her beautiful blue eyes and an amazing smile, but these are really just the superficial things that overshadowed someone of such depth, passion and abiding friendship. I’m glad to have had a good friend like Connie,” Campbell said.

A slideshow that included hundreds of pictures of Blount with her friends and family was a reminder of all the people whom she touched and what a great friend she always was, said Callie Schott, also a member of the equestrian team.

“We are left with a void and a warmth in our hearts,” said Schott, a senior. “I am blessed to have known her.”

It is a void that won’t be filled anytime soon, her father said.

“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face, I can’t begin to describe what it feels like,” Jack Blount said. “When I got the call from the hospital that Connie was dead, I had jumped at the phone because I thought it was my oldest daughter telling me I was a grandfather.”

Blount’s older sister, Kelley Krohnert, gave birth to a daughter Sunday afternoon.

“Being an aunt is something she looked so forward to,” Jack Blount said. “I will miss her, we all will miss her. But I am comforted knowing that this isn’t the end, knowing that I will see her again someday.”

Her father said he has no doubt she is in heaven looking down on him and laughing, and he is sure she’s still pursuing her love of horses.

“She came home from Sunday school one day when she was young and wanted to know if there are horses in heaven,” he said. “Anyone who has read the Bible knows there are horses. Any anyone who knows Connie knows she is riding one right now.”