12-year-old girl killed in Carpentersville crash remembered as 'one of a kind'
On any given day, Faith Hoberg could be seen wearing a pair of Vans sneakers and a baggy sweatshirt or a T-shirt portraying a rock band from decades before her time.
At 12 years old, Faith was shy, quiet and always respectful, her parents said. But she also was spunky and full of sass, with a scrappy, competitive side that came out in full force while she was playing hockey.
"She never felt like she had to conform to what anybody else was wearing or doing," said her mom, Linda Hoberg. "She was truly just one of a kind."
Faith, of the Gilberts area, died Sunday from injuries she suffered in a two-vehicle crash in Carpentersville, authorities said. Police are investigating the collision, which occurred at Randall and Miller roads.
The weekend of the crash, Faith had just played her first two hockey games with the Wolf Pack Hockey Club in Hoffman Estates, said her dad, Rob Hoberg, whose former participation in the sport sparked his daughter's interest.
She started her hockey career with the West Dundee Leafs organization, where she took basic skating and skills lessons before moving up to team play a couple of years ago, he said.
While transitioning to the Wolf Pack club this fall, Faith joined too late in the season to try out for the all-girls Wolverines program. Instead, she was placed on a coed team as the only girl player -- and it didn't faze her one bit, Rob Hoberg said.
"One of the things she loved about (hockey) was the ability to be aggressive and have fun in a controlled manner," he said. "She loved doing the drills that required contact, and she wasn't afraid. She held her own. She wouldn't give up."
With her signature smirk and a single-finger high-five that replaced all fist bumps, coaches say Faith never failed to work hard in practice and fight for the puck during games.
Her Wolf Pack teammates embraced her immediately, and vice versa, team manager Niki Shanley said. At one point, the Wolverines coaches offered Faith a spot on their team, but she turned it down. She had committed to playing with the boys this season, and that was where she would stay.
The Wolf Pack club plans to retire Faith's jersey No. 93. A bit of purple, her favorite color, will be added to all players' jerseys this season, club leaders said.
A seventh-grader at Cambridge Lakes Charter School in Pingree Grove, Faith's interests were widespread, from painting to riding roller coasters to listening to music by Panic! at the Disco, her parents said. She looked up to her older sister and loved spending time with her family.
She also had a close-knit group of friends who organized a "dress like Faith" day at school this week, Rob Hoberg said. They all wore baggy shirts, leggings, sneakers -- anything that reminded them of Faith's unique style.
"Faith was her own person," he said. "She was extremely strong. She fought for everything and wanted to be better at everything."
In her honor, Faith's family set up a GoFundMe page with plans to split the donations between her school and hockey club. Her dad set a goal of $1,500, thinking anything close to that would exceed his expectations. As of Thursday afternoon, the page had raised more than $12,000.
"I wanted my Faith to somehow be remembered," Rob Hoberg said. "And the best way I could think of doing that was somehow contributing to the things that, in her short life, took up the most amount of her time."
The support from friends, relatives, neighbors and even strangers has been overwhelming, her parents said. Signs have been placed throughout town in her memory. Loved ones have been bringing over meals and sending flowers.
"You just never realize how many lives a 12-year-old could touch," Linda Hoberg said, "that your daughter made such an impact on so many people."
Faith is survived by her parents; her sister, Makena; her grandparents, Dan and Lynn Hoberg, Kay Scherler and Anne Badt; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, with a memorial service at 7:30 p.m., at the DeFiore Funeral Home, 10763 Dundee Road, Huntley.