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Remembered as a school leader

Family and friends of Dani Tillich said goodbye this week to a girl who was described as feisty, a leader, a rebel and a joy.

A funeral service was held Wednesday morning for the 16-year-old girl who died July 16, eight days after she was struck by a pickup truck in St. Jacobs.

“She loved everything about life,” said Mike Muller, one of Dani’s friends. “Just the biggest sweetheart.”

The flag was at half-mast at EDSS, where the signboard recognized the passing of Dani Tillich on July 16.
The flag was at half-mast at EDSS, where the signboard recognized the passing of Dani Tillich on July 16.

Muller had a number of classes with Tillich at Elmira District Secondary School, including auto mechanics. Tillich planned to be a mechanic someday, and Muller said one of his best memories was spending the day with her at the auto show in Toronto earlier this year.

Muller, who knew Dani since they were in Grade 8 together at Conestogo Public School, said she loved being outdoors and liked to draw.

At EDSS, Tillich was known as a natural leader; in June, she organized Lancerstock, a day of outdoor band performances and activities.

“She liked to help out a lot,” Muller said. “She was really good in school too.”

Tillich sustained serious head injuries after she was hit by a pickup truck while crossing Sawmill Road near Parkside Drive in St. Jacobs. The Maryhill-area teen had just got off a Grand River Transit bus and was crossing the street to catch another bus when she was hit.

Tillich was airlifted to McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton where she underwent brain surgery before slipping into a coma.

Her parents, Peter and Kelley, and sisters Mary and Lainee agreed to donate Dani’s organs, helping save four lives and giving another person the gift of sight.

A funeral service was held Wednesday morning at St. Boniface Church in Maryhill, with internment at Parkview Cemetery in Waterloo. Condolences for the family and donations to the Hamilton General Hospital Trauma Unit may be arranged through the funeral home at www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.

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