WOODLAND PARK — Kelsey Berreth hadn't lived in Woodland Park for long.
The flight instructor moved to Colorado in 2016, eventually settling into a townhome in the 'City Above the Clouds'. It made for a long commute to her job at Doss Aviation in Pueblo, but it kept her close to her fiancé, the man found guilty of killing her.
Her life, though tragically taken, was the source of a heartfelt candlelight vigil in Woodland Park Friday night — exactly one year after her death. The vigil will be followed by a celebration of life service Saturday, at 2 p.m., at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Woodland Park.
At a company that employs several retired military, she excelled at teaching the newest pilots entering the United States Air Force.
"She did her job well, and she mattered," a coworker told the crowd.
The vigil was attended by around 100 people, who braved below-freezing temperatures to say goodbye to someone many of them never knew. They hoped the Berreth family could feel their enduring support and hear their sounds of song from high upon the mountain.
Jerry Good, owner of Williams Furniture Store in Woodland Park, told News 5 he got to know Kelsey's parents, Cheryl and Darrell, through the course of the last year. Surveillance video was instrumental in proving Patrick Frazee, Berreth's killer, lied about his actions on Nov. 22, 2018 — the day of Kelsey's death.
Good said he wants the Berreths to know they will always be part of the fabric of Woodland Park.
"This is what you do in a small community. You rally together, and you support each other. And the fact that they're in Idaho makes no difference. They're part of this community, and they always will be," Good said.
Those gathered have followed Kelsey's journey since she was reported missing, from the search warrants and press conferences to an emotional murder trial and the service of justice.
Friday, through the power of prayer, they shifted the focus away from the gruesome details of her death and onto the life she lived. Kelsey was a loving mother several people told News 5 they'll always miss, even if they didn't know her.
"It's about Kelsey, and we want to continue to show our love and support," said Vanessa Nichols, who helped organize the vigil.
"I think it's been a big loss, not only for losing a daughter and a mother and a sister. It's going to be felt for awhile," said Dale Aho, who's followed Kelsey's disappearance and story from the start.
Among those that helped see that justice was served, including Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young and Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May, this community allowed itself to mourn.
Their candles that once symbolized hope for Kelsey's return in a similar vigil on Dec. 13, 2018, now flicker in strength and in love.
Kelsey Berreth has gained her forever wings, but according to those at the vigil, the light by which she lived will shine on in Woodland Park for decades.
"She's still a part of this community, so just to always remember that and continues to just show the love for her," Nichols said.