As many people know, our daughter, Annabelle “Annie” Young died on May 4, 2019 at just 8 years old due to a brain aneurysm, leaving our family stunned and heartbroken.
Annie was a healthy, energetic third grade girl who was full of enthusiasm. As anyone can imagine, losing her has been devastating for our family and we have spent the last few months figuring out how to cope and find a new path forward without her.
We have long known that Berkeley Heights was a special place to raise our family, with all the benefits of a safe community filled with good people and kind neighbors. What we never knew or expected, is how incredibly compassionate and generous the people of our town would be in the very darkest moments for our family. For this, we want to thank each and every person who has reached out to offer kind words, sincere condolences, constant prayers, hot meals, helping hands and more. You have made the absolute worst time in our lives a little more bearable by reminding us that we are not alone—we are surrounded by people who feel our pain, share our loss and love our daughter.
Annie was born in Summit and came home to Berkeley Heights when she was just a few days old. She lived her entire life here, growing up amidst love and praise from friends, neighbors, babysitters, teachers, coaches and so many other moms, dads, kids and pets. At just 8 years old she had built a community of school friends, softball, basketball and cheerleading teammates, dance and acting classmates, a Brownie troop and more. We could not be more thankful that during her short time in this world, Annie was surrounded by people who were thoughtful, kind, uplifting and loving. We believe this is a big part of why our daughter was the funny, silly, smart, engaging and eternally happy person she was. It is also the exact kind of love and support our family has felt each day since losing her and we appreciate every thoughtful word and kind gesture given to us. We are equally grateful for the many ways in which Annie is being honored in Berkeley Heights and the surrounding communities. We know she would have felt incredibly special to be remembered in so many meaningful ways.
Because of the overwhelming outpouring of support, we can never adequately thank every individual, family, community, group, business or organization that has reached out to us in various ways over the last few weeks and months. We just hope that you will accept this note as an expression of our sincere gratitude and appreciation. We thank you for your prayers and we ask that you continue to remember our Annie, #19.
Special thanks to the following for their help, support and kindness: Paul Ippolito Berkeley Memorial, Father Daniel and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Father Andy and The Church of the Little Flower, Embassy Suites Berkeley Heights, Devour Creative Catering, Balloon Design Studio, Unique Visuals, Halls Garden Center & Florist, Anything Floral, Special-Tees Unlimited, La Rosa Chicken & Grill, Berkeley Heights Police, Berkeley Heights Police Benevolent Association, Berkeley Heights Fire Department, Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad, Mayor of Berkeley Heights Angie Devanney, Townships of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Long Hill and many others, Berkeley Heights Recreation Department, Berkeley Heights Police Athletic League, Long Hill Police Athletic League, New Providence Police Athletic League, Parkway Softball League teams, The Upper Deck Elite Baseball & Softball Academy, NJ Fastpitch at Mount St. Mary Academy, The Girl Scouts: Heart of New Jersey and the girl/boy scout troops of Berkeley Heights, Wharton Institute of the Performing Arts, Berkeley Heights Public School District and the teachers, staff, students and PTO’s of: Westminster Nursery School, Mary Kay McMillian School, Thomas P. Hughes Elementary School, Mountain Park Elementary School, Woodruff Elementary School, Columbia Middle School and Governor Livingston High School.