The community of Ahwatukee has always been a plethora of individuals who band together during times of good and bad.
This support resonated Saturday morning during a memorial service at Pecos Park for Molly Urtuzuastegui, former Girl Scout from Arizona Girl Scout Troop 900 who passed away in a fatal car accident on Sept. 27 in Minnesota.
She was laid to rest in Minnesota, but since her passing, the family has been receiving tremendous outpouring of support from their family and friends in Ahwatukee.
Urtuzuastegui, 11, was affiliated with Girl Scouts for numerous years, dating back since she was in kindergarten and continued to be part of Troop 900 until she moved to Minnesota.
Members of the community came out to share their condolences to Urtuzuastegui’s family and took the time to remember the good times they shared with their beloved Girl Scout during the hour memorial.
Since Urtuzuastegui was put to rest in Minnesota, her Girl Scout family in Ahwatukee wanted their own place in the area to be able to pay their respects and visit their friend, and decided to have a memorial by planting a tree in Pecos Park.
Susan Hale, Troop 900 leader, said she was contacted by Urtuzuastegui’s father, Brion Urtuzuastegui, about the idea of holding some memorial service for Molly.
“Molly was buried in Minnesota and he didn’t really have a place to have for her here. Ahwatukee is a small community and you rally around your friends and these girls have been friends with Molly since kindergarten,” Hale said. “Even though you move away, you’re still always a friend and a member of the troop.”
Troop 900 opened the memorial ceremony with singing a rendition of “Kumbaya” and shared with the audience about different memoires they had with Molly.
The troop also spoke to the audience about the tree they decided to plant for Molly in the park, which is Chinese Pistache.
The girls in Troop 900 made the decision to plant a Chinese Pistache because during the fall and winter season the tree’s leaves turn different vibrant colors, matching Molly’s charm and charisma.
Camryn Dunn, Girl Scout member, said after the news about Molly’s death, Troop 900 began holding an online fundraiser to raise money for the tree and for Brion.
The fundraiser became a success, generating more than $2,000.
“We felt like we were doing something good in the world,” Dunn said
Pictures hung from the branches of the tree, sharing different glimpses of Molly’s life, and gave attendees a chance to revisit memories they shared with her.
After Troop 900 were finished, Urtuzuastegui mother and father, Doreen Devoy-Hulgan and Brion, thanked their fellow friends for the tremendous support they have received during their grieving process.
“It was perfect,” Devoy-Hulgan said.
Brion, who lived in the Ahwatukee area for 15 years, said he was overcome with emotions during the memorial service and enjoys the fact that he has a place in Arizona to visit his daughter.
“When friends are all together I can really feel her spirit. My emotions are very strong because of that feeling … feeling close to my daughter and knowing that there’s going to be something here that I can visit and other people to visit … it’s very appropriate,” Brion said.
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