JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 27-year-old Jacksonville woman known for joy, giving and adventure was killed 10 days ago by a suspected drunk driver going the wrong way on a Denver street. She will be laid to rest on Saturday.
Through their unbearable grief, the family of Kelly Anne Broderick shared stories of the time they had with her and what they hope everyone can take from her life.
"It’s hard to accept that she’s gone through no fault of her own," sister Shay Broderick said.
"I still think she’s going to come through that door," mother Kathy Broderick said.
Kelly Anne was a middle child with two sisters and more friends – she called them favorite humans – than her family could count. She graduated from Mandarin High School and the University of Florida before heading out into the world.
"She was supposed to come home (December) 15th, but she’s gone home," Kathy Broderick said, sharing her daughter's strong faith in God. "I miss her a lot."
As much pain as her family is feeling, they can’t help but smile when talking about Kelly Anne's kindhearted spirit.
"She had a beautiful, adventurous spirit and loved life and was open and honest and kind to everyone," sister Shay said.
In 2016, Kelly Anne completed the World Race, a mission trip that took her to 11 countries in 11 months to share the love of Jesus and to help others. The next year, she moved to Denver to take a job.
"Her faith (was) very, very strong faith and her wanting to help people and help people that really, really needed it in other countries," Kathy Broderick said.
Her family is finding comfort in that faith.
"(It helps) knowing without a doubt she’s in heaven and that, as much as we miss her here on Earth, if it was her time to go to heaven, that it’s our time now to carry out her legacy for her here on Earth," Shay Broderick said.
Kelly Anne’s blog, which her sister said will comfort their family for years to come, had excerpts about showing faith in the face of death.
"She made her own path and, apparently, it was a wide one, encompassing a lot of people," Kathy Broderick said.
The night she died, a friend was driving her to the airport to catch a flight to Iceland. Her friend was injured but survived. The driver who struck them was arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular homicide.
The devastated mother and sister are hoping sharing Kelly Anne's story will inspire people to live like her and spread acts of kindness.
Christ’s Church off Greenland Road, which Kelly Anne grew up attending, is where her celebration of life will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday. The family is inviting everyone, even those who didn't know her, as her family would love the opportunity for people to learn more about her.
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