FAIRFIELD — Beautiful, loving, happy — those were some of the words family and friends used to describe sisters Emily and Ashlin Baker at a celebration of their lives Tuesday.

Emily Baker Contributed photo

“They loved their family dearly, but they also loved their friends,” said Pastor Stephen Donahue of Shamut Chapel in Fairfield. “They had a smile that could light up a room.”

Emily Baker, 14, and Ashlin Baker, 12, of Clinton were killed in a car crash on Hinckley Road in Clinton on the morning of Feb. 9.

Dozens of mourners filled the Williamson Performing Arts Center at Lawrence High School in Fairfield to say their final goodbyes in a service that was lead by Donahue and organized by Lawry Brothers of Fairfield.

Ashlin Baker Contributed photo

Picture collages, art work and personal messages were displayed on the walls at the entrance to the auditorium for the sisters and the third victim killed in the crash, Thomas Porfirio, 15, of Benton. Porfirio, who attended Lawrence High School, was honored with a celebration of life at the same location Saturday.

Tuesday’s service opened with a slideshow of Emily and Ashlin Baker, which featured photos that spanned their lives, from the time when they were small children with their friends, family and pets, to recent photos of them with their school friends. As the photos slipped by, songs such as “You are my Sunshine,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” played. The people attending the service, heavily comprised of teenagers and children, held each other for comfort.

After the slideshow, Donahue read excerpts from the Bible. He described Ashlin Baker as an avid animal lover and Emily Baker as fiercely loyal to her friends. Then he opened the floor to speakers.

“Both of these girls were very dear to me,” one man said while fighting back tears. “They were very happy girls, they loved their friends and family, and I’m definitely going to miss them.”

A mother held her young daughter up to the microphone next.

“They had an Easter egg hunt and bonfires and would play on the trampoline with me,” the girl said.

Friends and family of Emily and Ashlin Baker share their grief during a Celebration of Life service for the sisters at the Williamson Arts Center in Fairfield Tuesday. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson Buy this Photo

Ashlin Baker’s best friend offered words of encouragement to the audience.

“She cared about all of us and I really don’t know what I’m going to do without her,” she said. “But I know that she’d want us to keep living our lives to the fullest … live for the future and not in the past.”

A Lawrence High boy offered these words about Emily: “I think I speak for everyone when I say that Emily was an angel walking on Earth. She wouldn’t let anything get in her way … I’m just going to really miss Emily. We’d always pull pranks on each other, make fun of each other in the hallway. So I just wanted to say a few last words, say my goodbyes.”

Another high school boy took the stage to speak. “Emily helped me out more than some people realize, and I just never got the chance to thank her … and this has been pretty hard and I just want to apologize to everyone. Sorry about all your losses.” He then left the service.

Programs were available at the entrance to the auditorium that showed a photo of the sisters together and included a poem to them that read: “Emily and Ashlin, it’s hard to know why some things happen as they do,/ For so much joy and happiness was centered around you./ It seems so hard to comprehend that you’re no longer here,/ but all the happy memories will help to keep you near./ You’re thought about with pride,/ with each mention of your name./ Death cannot change a single thing. The love will still remain.”

Emily Baker attended Lawrence High School and Ashlin Baker attended Lawrence Junior High School. Both girls were passionate about animals, hanging out with their friends and playing pranks on their family, according to the memorial program.

Emily Baker and Ashlin Baker were predeceased by their father, Kevin Baker. They are survived by their mother, Samantha Baker; their brother, Zach Baker; their aunt and uncle, Mary and Butch; their aunt and uncle, Holly and Gabriel; and their cousins.

The family requested that the press not interview attendees.

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