The two little girls who drowned in a July Fourth boat accident were laid to rest yesterday after services in which their families recalled them as happy, beautiful children.
Harlie Treanor, 11, of Huntington Station, and Victoria Gaines, 7, of Huntington, were mourned at separate funerals: Victoria at the Church of St. Patrick in Huntington, and Harlie in Huntington Station at M.A. Connell Funeral Home.
The girls and Harlie's cousin David Aureliano, 12, of Kings Park, died when the boat they were aboard with family and friends capsized and sank in Oyster Bay after a fireworks show. David's funeral was Monday.
At Victoria's funeral, mourners spoke of a joyful second-grader who loved dancing and always looked after her 12-year-old brother, Ryan. She died two days before her 8th birthday.
"Victoria was always so strong," her father, Paul Gaines, told more than 100 friends and family members at the service. "She's my little angel now.
"You'd bring her into a dress shop and she'd be in heaven," he said. "But she was tough as nails, too. I pray dearly that I'll be with her soon."
Victoria's sobbing mother, Lisa Gaines, told mourners that their stories about Victoria would help her heal.
"She is an amazing child and I'm so thankful that she got to share her very full eight years with all of you," she said. "And I need all of your memories to get us through this."
At Harlie's funeral, her father, Kevin Treanor, who owned the sunken boat, along with her sister, Madyson, and other family members spoke lovingly of the red-haired girl known for her musical talent, academic prowess and infectious optimism, several mourners said.
"What a beautiful child," Dawn Heller, Harlie's music teacher at Bowling Green Elementary from first to fifth grades, said outside the funeral home. "She always did the right thing. It's heartbreaking."
Heller said Harlie went out of her way to help her classmates, about 10 of whom attended the service.
"She was a selfless person," Heller said. "She always wanted to help other people. She also excelled in academics and in band. She was a very happy child."
The Rev. Thomas Tuite, of the Church of St. Patrick, told mourners at Victoria's funeral it was normal to question why the tragedy occurred.
"We'll never understand why some of these things happen. . . . We hope that we will one day be with Victoria again. But until that day, we hold onto our hope."
Authorities are still investigating why the 34-foot Silverton boat capsized with 27 people aboard.