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Community gathers to remember Harper Stantz at funeral mass

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) —  The community continued to mourn Harper Stantz on Tuesday. A funeral mass was held at St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

A sea of yellow flooded the church, as hundreds who attended all wore Harper’s favorite color.

Friends and family were able to take the time to reflect on the person Harper truly was.

“She wanted to see her little brother with a smile on his face. I realized she cared a lot more about other people than she cared about herself,” said Harper’s brother, Griffin Stantz.

And everyone agreed, she was someone who lit up a room with her smile and sense of humor.

“Harper knew how to make me laugh more than anyone. There were times we laughed for hours over the dumbest things because every time I would hear her laugh I would only laugh even harder,” said Harper’s cousin, Colton Emmett.

While acknowledging Harper is gone, she won’t be forgotten by the community.

“I know you’re watching over us right now because the signs you’re giving us have been extremely comforting and helping us all get through this,” said Emmett.

And Harper’s mother says she’s already gotten a few of those signs.

“And suddenly a bell rang when this woman got this thing and the woman exclaimed ‘oh another angel just got its wings,'” said Patty Stantz. “Since Harper was a baby I always called her ‘Zuzu Belle,’ which is the name of the girl from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ who says every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings,” said Stantz.

Harper’s mom says just being able to feel her energy, gives her comfort and strength.

“So incredibly blessed and I hope you guys get to feel what I’m feeling some day because it’s incredible,” said Stantz.

As family and friends continue to mourn, they say they know Harper is always with them.

According to Stantz’s obituary, her burial will take place in the spring, at St. Augustine’s Cemetery in Silver Lake, Pennsylvania.

Annie Flaherty

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