A CANDLELIT vigil for Jolene Potter-Connolly was held in Huddersfield . . . and all around the world friends lit candles in her memory at exactly the same time.
The tragic 23-year-old's family and friends held the vigil at St Paul's Hall on the Huddersfield University campus last night.
Jolene - who died in an incident when she was dragged by a car outside the Folly Hall leisure complex in the early hours of September 11 - gained an upper second class honours business studies degree from Huddersfield University earlier this summer.
She had spent two years of her course abroad - one in Sweden where she made 160 new friends from 36 countries - and these friends, along with ones she made in America, remembered Jolene at the same moment by lighting a candle.
She met her fiancé, 30-year-old Jon Eichner, in America.
Jon and his brothers, Mike and Rob, were at last night's vigil with Jolene's mother, Marcia, stepfather, Mark, and the rest of the family along with well over 100 friends.
A moving tribute from the family was read out by Det Insp Sam Cooke, of Huddersfield CID, who is investigating her death.
He said: "Jolene was a beautiful, intelligent and popular woman.
"She was much loved as a fiancé, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and friend.
"She made friends wherever she travelled - latterly as a university student she chose to study overseas, always craving a challenge and longing to broaden her horizons. She will be sorely missed by so many people around the world."
He added: "Jolene was often outspoken, particularly when she saw injustice. She was very idealistic and believed she could make a difference and right the world."
While studying in Atlanta, Jolene did voluntary work as a trainee counsellor for an organisation called The Giving Tree, a charitable adoption agency for children with special needs, many of whom had suffered abuse. She also spent a lot of her spare time helping out at a women's refuge.
She met Jon in Atlanta. He flew over and proposed to her on the Huddersfield University campus.
Paul Wilcock, director of student services at Huddersfield University, led the vigil.
He said: "Over the last few days I've heard very many people talk about Jolene. She was someone who gave something of herself to everyone she met."
Jolene's best friend, 24-year-old Louise O'Sullivan, of Newsome, said: "Jolene was and always will be my best friend.
"I am honoured to have been a part of her life and to have known her as my best friend."
SHE WAS A MAGICAL PERSON - FIANCE JON
THE vigil was especially poignant for Jolene's fiancé, Jon, who had proposed to her on the same campus in the summer of 2001. His tribute was read out by his older brother, Rob, 35.
He said: "Jolene was a magical person, with an unbreakable, infectious spirit. She had the power to touch everyone around her in a very special way and share her enthusiasm for the simple things in life and love.
"Whenever she would walk into a room her spirit would just take over. You had no choice but to smile and join her in having a good time. There was no point in resisting.
"I wish there was a way I could describe some special moments I had with Jolene, but every second we spent together was the best in my life. It didn't matter what we did together or if we did anything at all. We were so happy just being together and we knew that happiness would carry us through the rest of our lives together.
He added: "The canal by the university does have some special memories for us. It's where Jolene and I walked through the campus toward Almondbury and where she accepted my proposal.
"Walking by the canal, we paused and reflected on what our future together would be like. I think we both felt a great wave of happiness overtake us.
"To truly understand and remember Jolene the way that I think she would have wanted, she wouldn't want us to think of this as mourning the loss of a very special person we all loved.
"She would want it to be a celebration of her incredible life, her amazing life that affected all of ours in our own way."