Brother and sister killed in car crash remembered at candlelight vigil

Jan Buckley met Grace and Emil Diewald 12 years ago during a swimming lesson with her children. “We all hit it off immediately,” Buckley said in speaking at a candlelight vigil Sunday for Grace, 20, and her 19-year-old brother Emil. “Gracie and Emil grew up with my kids.

“They were family to us,” Buckley said. “They were both so full of energy and wonder and love. They were always with friends. They both had so many friends. They both touched so many lives. They could be funny, and they liked to make others laugh. They both loved fiercely their friends, their pets and their family.”

Grace and Emil died on Oct. 31 when the Lexus SUV they were riding in crashed into the back of a District 301 school bus.

Buckley said they will be remembered for their kindness, positive energy and “loving hearts.”

“One of Gracie's favorite quotes was, 'Good friends are like stars, you don't always see them, but you always know that they are there,'” Buckley said. “One of Emil's was, 'When the sun comes up, I will rise.'”

Chaplain Jon Hubbard comforted those attending the vigil.

“This candlelight vigil is by its own definition and by our intention a remembrance of Emil and Grace,” he said. “Our candles lit, bright and flaming, yet small and all too extinguishable, will burn this early autumn evening with many emotions. There is sadness and grief, even anger, at the loss felt here tonight. Our grief and loss have taken on the reality of names and faces, those to whom we have loved and cherished and with family dreams forever are torn asunder.”

Hubbard reminded those at the vigil that even though Emil and Grace are “gone from our physical sight, they will always be in our hearts and because they are in our hearts, they are forever with us.”

Both of the Diewalds were recent graduates of Central High School, part of District 301 in western Kane County, and were residents of unincorporated St. Charles.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay for funeral costs and unknown expenses. A celebration of life for Grace and Emil will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Lord of Life Church, 40W605 Route 38, Elburn, with a memorial service for both at 11 a.m. Saturday at the same location.

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