OLD TOWN, Maine — Holly Boutilier was both loving and much loved during her 19 years, but the circumstances surrounding her recent death cast a tragic note on the young woman’s funeral service.
More than 200 people crowded into the Birmingham Funeral Home in Old Town on Thursday afternoon to pay tribute and say goodbye to a teenager whose life was cut tragically short.
The brief service painted Boutilier as a happy-go-lucky, sometimes feisty individual who was protective of her two sisters and who shared a special bond with her recently deceased grandfather.
The Rev. Jerry Mick of the Bangor Baptist Church said the two would meet in heaven. Her aunt, the only other person to speak at the funeral, called Boutilier “a real person in a world of artificiality.”
After the service, family members declined to talk about Boutilier because her death was still too fresh. Her body was found over the weekend in a shack near the Bangor Waterfront, the victim of a brutal murder. Colin Koehler, 34, was arrested on Tuesday in connection with her death and made his first court appearance on Thursday morning, just hours before Boutilier’s funeral.
Mick spoke of her death only once and called it horrendous. He said if she were here today, she would tell her audience that life is short; don’t waste it.
Boutilier loved music. At one point in the service, Mick played a song, “Butterfly Kisses,” over the speakers and explained that Boutilier had wanted her father to sing the tune at her wedding one day. The pastor also read a letter from the young woman’s mother — who sat in the front row just a few feet from her daughter’s open casket — that recalled happier times.
Boutilier wore an argyle sweater and black pants. Small stuffed animals were next to her in the casket. Pictures of her as a young girl with pigtails were hung on a nearby corkboard.
Mick thanked those who took time out of their day to remember Boutilier, including many young people. He said the turnout on Thursday was a testament to the young woman and to her parents.
A reception followed the funeral at the nearby Holy Family Parish Center.
Boutilier will be buried at Hodgdon Cemetery at a later date.