Skye McCole Bartusiak, the late Patriot actress who died at the young age of 21 last week, was remembered the other day during a touching memorial service in Houston. Held at the Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church on July 25, Bartusiak's family and friends gathered to honor the fallen star.
"If you want to remember her, remember that smile and remember that laugh," her brother, Stephen, told several hundred mourners at a service. "So remember my sister for being that free-spirited, happy-go-lucky rasta girl."
"If you want to know what makes Skye happy, go out and plant a tree," Stephen added. "Make it a place you can go to when you want to reflect. Make it a place where you write or where you think. But make it your safe place, because that's what Skye would want."
Bartusiak passed away unexpectedly on July 19. Investigators have yet to determine a cause of death, but her mother said Skye had been suffering from epileptic seizures in recent days.
"She lit up the room," her father, Don, said during the service. "Skye's ability to engage people emotionally was exceptional."
Skye started her career in entertainment at the age of 6 with a role in The Cider House Rules in 1999 and went on to play Mel Gibson's youngest daughter in the 2000 film The Patriot.
"I mean not just anybody can steal a scene right out from under Mel Gibson," Lynne Buckridge, a friend of Bartusiak's family, said. "[But] there was a depth and authenticity to this young woman. Skye was probably a bit of mystery in Hollywood. She didn't fit neatly into any of those Hollywood categories. Skye was a gifted thespian, but as everyone is this room knows, she was so much more than that."