A sharp-witted 7-year-old who loved to dance and make jokes was remembered Tuesday as an angel on earth who now sits among the saints of Heaven.
A small, white coffin carried the body of Victoria Gaines into Huntington's Tuesday morning. About 150 mourners, including dressed in black, wept as the mourners followed the casket.
The Rev. Thomas Tuite greeted them in the middle of the majestic Roman Catholic church with a blessing from the Book of Revelation: "Blessed are those who die in the Lord."
Victoria was one of three children who perished in Oyster Bay on July 4 aboard a yacht that after a fireworks display. The little girl would have been 8 on Friday.
"It is our hope that one day we will all be together with Victoria again," said Tuite in his sermon. "The love you have for her can never be destroyed, and if that love lives on, Victoria lives on."
Now, said Tuite, the little girl who just received her First Holy Communion is safe, "a saint in Heaven who now looks out for us."
"We know the world is a better place because of the love Victoria shared with each of us," Father Tuite said.
Victoria's grandfather, Steve, described the 3rd grader as the "light of our lives," who joked with him about her brother, Ryan, ice cream and the "spider that lives in my ear."
"The room brightened and the mood lightened when she entered," he said. "She was a joy, and the world and all its dangers can no longer hurt her."
He finished with: "Thank God for giving us Saint Victoria. One day I will see you again."
Also killed in the tragedy was 11-year-old , of Huntington Station, and , 11, of Kings Park. Nassau Police and the FBI continue to investigate the cause of the sinking.