Hundreds mourn soldier killed in CFB Petawawa crash
WATERLOO - Arielle Keyes-Oliver's bright smile was contagious.
But the funny yet "ladylike" soldier was proudest in uniform serving her country, friends and family said at her funeral Saturday.
"She always had a smile on her face," said Master Bombardier Barry Gregory, Keyes-Oliver's supervisor when she served at 11th Field Regiment in Guelph. "She truly believed in the idea of service before self."
"Her smile lit up the whole room," said Lauren Orser, a classmate at Keyes-Oliver's former high school, Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate. "She was really friends with everyone. It's impacting everyone for sure.
"She was ladylike, but also a very, very funny woman," said Nadine Balint, who also attended high school with Keyes-Oliver.
More than 800 friends, family and members of the Canadian Forces gathered Saturday at the Waterloo Pentacostal Assembly.
The 19-year-old reservist died last weekend while training at CFB Petawawa when the army truck she was riding in flipped over. Four other soldiers were seriously injured. The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service is investigating.
Keyes-Oliver, a gunner, transferred from Guelph to the 30th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, in Ottawa, when she enrolled at Carleton University this fall. She was training with other Ottawa reservists the day of the crash.
Members of both the Ottawa and Guelph regiments attended the military funeral Saturday. Some dabbed at tears as they walked into the church.
Soldiers from the Guelph regiment saluted the casket, draped in a Canadian flag, as Ottawa reservists lifted it inside.
The sound of bagpipes and drums filled the cold air at the close of the service, as the Paris Port Dover Pipe Band played "Danny Boy."
Keyes-Oliver played the drums in the band when she was younger.
"Arielle encouraged everyone to live their dreams," said her great-uncle, Jim Metcalfe, in a prepared statement before the funeral. "She embodied the ideal of 'Never leave a man behind."'
The family has established a scholarship in Arielle's name at Carleton University. Donations can be made through the Erb & Good Funeral Home or through the university.
Keyes-Oliver is survived by her parents, Diane and Dave, and her 13-year-old sister Tressa.