Friends, family, classmates and teammates celebrated the life of 17-year-old Shelby Sudbrink at a ceremony Sunday in Santa Margarita. The Templeton High School student and basketball team captain died earlier this month after a car crash.
The celebration of life was open to the public and the community came out in large numbers; Shelby’s uncle estimated more than 750 attendees in total. The service had to be delayed to give shuttle busses more time to transport all the guests to the venue.
Shelby's older sister said she was humbled by how many people attended.
“It makes me really realize that she had touched so many people’s lives, not just my own,” Hailey Sudbrink said.
The day felt “magical” according to Hailey.
“I felt like (Shelby) was there,” she said. “And when I went up there and spoke today, seeing the light behind everyone, I felt like she was kind of comforting me.”
Hailey said she knows the grieving process won’t be easy, but that hearing everyone’s fond memories of Shelby gave the family some extra strength.
Speakers shared stories about Shelby’s devotion to her family, kindness and unselfish nature.
“She would do anything for the people she loved,” one guest remarked. “And she loved everyone.”