The following letter was provided by the family of Torie Lingenfelter to honor her life and memory.
Victoria Brooke Lingenfelter, 23, of Duncansville, Pa was a sixth year student at Saint Francis University where she graduated with her Masters in Health Sciences and was in the nursing curriculum to achieve her dream of being a Nurse Practitioner. On September 27, 2012, Torie had just picked up her wedding gown with her sister and asked her to take the gown to her house. She kissed her good-bye and proceeded to her fiancé’s house to pick up her phone that she had left there. But as God’s plan for us would have it, Torie was killed in a tragic auto accident on her way to Roger’s.
Torie was a humble, giving, kind person who always had the time to offer help when needed. Despite being a full-time student at SFU, working in the East Freedom Wal-Mart produce department, spending the last nine months of her life with her dad and fiancé building a barn and fencing in eight acres for her horses, Cheyanne and Chevy, she always found the time to pay it forward by volunteering her time and talent at the Veterans Home, or at the St. Pat’s Festival Packing Daffodils for the ACS, but more importantly just being there for someone who is in need.
A woman waited two hours at the funeral home so she could express a story of how she and her husband had a terrible fight, and she went to Wal-Mart and had a meltdown right in the produce section. The next thing she knew, as she wiped away her tears, was a pair of arms that gave her a hug and said “It’ll be okay.” The hug only lasted a few moments, but it was enough for her to remember Torie. She returned to the store several times to tell her thank you, but she could never find the kind, nameless girl until she opened her newspaper and saw the girl’s picture in the obituary. She was overwhelmed, as many more were, with grief. Stories like this, and many more acts of kindness Torie showed in her short 23 years, consoled the Lingenfelter family through their loss. Her contagious smile and funny personality made the world a better place to live in.
Even though the Lingenfelters knew how amazing Torie was, they credit her path through life and those in it for the humble country girl she was. Her strong faith in God, family, friends and country were truly visible through the outpouring of love at the viewing and funeral services. Even though we all question why she wasn’t to be married a week later on October 6, her parent’s anniversary, Torie was buried in her wedding dress and her bridesmaids wore their dresses to the funeral. Being able to watch from above, we’re sure Torie was so proud.
Her family and friends still mourn for Torie, but know that if a simple country girl can muster up all the love she did here on Earth; great things are to happen now that she’s in Heaven.
Torie’s journey here on Earth had her footprints throughout our Catholic Schools, being in grade school at St. Patrick’s, Newry, in high school at Bishop Guilfoyle, then to Saint Francis University. Through the donations made to the family, scholarships have been established at each of those schools in memory of Torie. They are called “Torie’s Jouney Scholarships.” The family hopes that by establishing these scholarships another child can meet all the influential people that Torie did and possibly finish Torie’s dream of helping others.
The family expresses their deepest thank you for all the outpouring of love and compassion shown to their family during this tragedy. As a humble, simple cowgirl would say, “Don’t cry because it is over, smile and laugh because it was.”