New Lenox community remembers Karly Little with ‘a lot of love’
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org October 29, 2012 8:20PM
A sign at New Life Church in New Lenox remembers the life of Karly Little, a 9-year-old girl killed in an auto accident Oct. 13. | Larry Ruehl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 1, 2012 4:22PM
On the day friends and family said their final goodbyes to 9-year-old Karly Little, the children’s ministry director of New Life Church in New Lenox remembered her as having a “servant’s heart.”
“She was a friend of everyone around her,” Lisa Schnyders said. “She enjoyed doing things for other people.”
Schnyders said the church was full for Monday’s funeral service, which was to be expected given Karly’s impact on those who knew her.
“I think she touched a lot of lives,” Schnyders said. “There was a lot of sadness, but people loved Karly, so there was a lot of love too.”
Karly, who was killed Oct. 13 in a car crash, was a Girl Scout with New Lenox Troop 30 who attended fourth grade at Nelson Ridge Elementary School. She also played on the Legacy soccer travel team.
She was a member of her church’s Kingdom Kids program. Schnyders said other children who attend the church are bringing in coins for the Little family and are encouraging churchgoers to donate to a local Rotary Club fund created on their behalf.
Maureen Crain, of New Lenox, the grandmother of a Girl Scout who was friends with Karly, said Monday that pink and blue ribbons were tied to all of the mailboxes and trees in the Horizon Meadows neighborhood in Karly’s memory.
“She was the sweetest little thing,” Crain said. “I don’t know how the family is dealing with this. I have three children who are all grown and I can’t imagine losing one of my children.”
Jenny Zimmerman, spokeswoman for New Lenox School District 122, said the district was not planning any immediate memorials for Karly, out of respect for her family’s wishes.
Karly’s father, Ken Little, 53, and sister Katie, 11, also were injured in the crash. An email sent to the Joliet Herald-News from a family friend earlier this month said Ken Little had his spleen removed and suffered injuries to his small intestine, three broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
Little was driving home with his daughters from visiting his mother at a nursing home in Kankakee County when their 2009 Hyundai was hit on the driver’s side by a 2003 GMC truck about 10:20 a.m. on 6000 North Road approaching Illinois 50, according to police. The intersection, between Bourbonnais and Manteno townships, has a stop sign for 6000 North a few yards past a railroad crossing.
Karly was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee, where she was pronounced dead at 10:52 a.m.
The driver of the GMC, Jose Villagomez, 22, of Kankakee, was treated at Riverside Medical Center and released. Villagomez had a 1-year-old child in the rear seat of his vehicle who was also hospitalized, police said.