UCF freshman remembered as good friend and wonderful daughter

Ann Marie Hefferin was remembered Monday night as the girl with the contagious smile who loved Italian food, roller coasters, the color red, and flip-flops on the beach.

"We hope this evening and all the days of your life when you meet another person, you will pass along a smile of kindness and love in her honor," her parents told about 300 friends, family and classmates who attended Hefferin's wake at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park.

The 18-year-old UCF student — who died following a fraternity party the first week of her freshman year — was honored as an excellent student, good friend and dutiful daughter who always called or texted her parents when she was heading home or had reached her destination safely.

Her father, Mark, recalled her penchant for raiding her mother's clothes closet. Her mother, Kelley,  remembered her as the daughter who called her every day to say "I love you."

Her younger brother, Nick, told of the older sister never too busy to help him with his homework. And her older brother, J.D., remembered the little sister who encouraged him to pursue his passion for golf.

A friend said Ann described herself as loyal, honest and sometimes goofy. Another characterized her as a peacemaker and role model.

Those attending the wake were given laminated bookmarks containing her Bishop Moore High School yearbook scriptural theme: "I can do everything through Him who gives me Strength."

In the lobby of the sanctuary there were photographs of "Annie" through her years of growing up: arms around friends, smiling through face paints, holding a small white dog, wearing her graduation gown, dressed for the prom, posing with her family.

Hefferin's funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church. She will be buried out of state. Collison Family Funeral Home & Crematory, Winter Park, is handling the arrangements. 

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