Within hours of hearing a classmate had been lost in a fatal car accident late Wednesday afternoon, the chapel at Helias Catholic High School was standing room only with students, staff and community members.
Known for her brilliant smile and cheery disposition, Samantha Scott's life touched many at the local high school and its mission locations, St. Peter Interparish School and St. Andrew Catholic Church, Holts Summit.
Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Monday in Helias' Rackers Fieldhouse.
To the commendation of the adults, Scott's peers were swift in organizing Wednesday evening's prayer vigil.
"I'm proud of everyone to come together at this awful time for such a beautiful person," principal Didier Aur said. "It was amazing watching you take the lead - praying, crying ... in love and hope."
Many of the students who turned out so quickly had gone on the school's mission trip to Springfield, Ill., this summer with Scott to help build two houses for the Habitat for Humanity affiliate there.
"I have great memories of her," Aur said. "She was always smiling, always there to lift people up."
In the same way, Scott's school community gathered to lift up her and her survivors Thursday morning.
It was a heavy and tear-filled service, especially as the slide show flashed picture after picture of Scott smiling and enjoying activities with friends.
Memories of her "beautiful smile and golden heart" will live on, as the school's Facebook page said.
"We are lives touched by her smile and laughter," said Christina Bockwinkel-Baker, campus minister.
The photo tribute showed a young woman in formal wear, a child at play with her friends, a helpful teenager working on a missions project, and a cherished member of several groups.
Between photos, some students wrote remembrances saying Scott would not be forgotten, that her contributions to daily life had been precious, and that they hoped she would be watching them from heaven.
"There's no answer to what has taken place," said the Rev. Brendan Doyle. "This is where our faith takes over.
"Trust in God even in the tough days ... He takes care of us and of Samantha."
Scott was pronounced dead at Capital Region Medical Center following a two-vehicle accident at 5:20 p.m. Wednesday on U.S. 54 at Heritage Highway.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol report, Scott pulled into the path of a westbound vehicle driven by Matthew Chick, 33, Eugene, who was treated for moderate injuries.
Aur received condolences from several area schools offering counseling support or substitutes to cover classes. And their brother-schools in Mexico and Memphis, Tenn., also shared their sympathy.
"A terrible loss for us was a great gain for heaven," one official said.