HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was called a celebration of life to remember real estate agent Charles Casados, 51, and his daughter Stephanie, 11, who was a sixth grader at Kaimuki Middle School.
Their bodies were found last week Thursday at the Makapuu Tidepools, a day after the two took a final outing to a place that they loved.
A single urn held the ashes of both father and daughter. The chapel at Diamond Head Memorial Park was filled with family and friends, including a large number of Stephanie's classmates from Kaimuki Middle School. The students were still wearing their blue uniform t-shirts at the service. Counselors said they were hit especially hard by Stephanie's death.
"We're helping them as best as possible," said sixth grade counselor Clyde Ibara. "We're counseling them. We're having their write journals and write letters."
Ibara also helped the students put together a poster, which included photos of Stephanie, and things that belonged to her, like her school I.D. card and a questionnaire asking her to describe herself.
"Anytime we lose a good student, any student, it is very difficult," Ibara said. "Stephanie was an outstanding student. She was, academically and behaviorally, she was a good student."
The family listened as classmates tearfully struggled with their farewells. "Every time I would be sad, she would always tell me to not be said, just live this life as if it was your last," said one student.
Stephanie's father, Charles, 51, was remembered as a man who moved from Texas and found paradise in Hawaii. "My brother, he lived the ocean," said Samuel Casados, Jr. "He loved nature. He loved Hawaii.
Samuel Casados also remembered Charles as a loving father. "He desired to give his children everything that he did not have as a child," he said. "He was an example of what a father was."
"He was a great dad," said son Charlie Casados, "he always had something to say, and Steffie and him left me with a lot of good memories. And I can always remember them, always laughing and having a good time and enjoying life."
On the poster from Kaimuki Middle School, there was a poem written by Stephanie. It included the lines: "I understand things happen for a reason. I saw if you love something, let it go."
Students have planted a tree in Stephanie's honor on campus. It will be dedicated on Valentine's Day.