IRVINE — On Friday afternoon about 200 people gathered at UC Irvine to celebrate the life of Jessica Hoke. The 23-year-old UCI alumna died Dec. 3, three days after car crash debris hit her while she walked to work at South Coast Plaza.
Family, friends and fellow students shared their stories of Hoke, a San Diego native who was known for her vivacious charm, sense of humor and creativity. Held at the Gateway Plaza, Aldrich Park served as a serene backdrop to the memorial service while Hoke's 5-year-old cousin, clad in a green floral dress, handed out sunflowers to everyone present.
Hoke, who had a bachelor's degree in literary journalism, grew up with the arts, attending the School of Creative and Performing Arts to study dance. Her uncle, David Hoke, marveled at the former ballerina's ability to do pointe at a young age.
While many were dressed in black, others were clad in hip attire, similar to the clothes Hoke, who worked at the trendy H&M store, might have donned. KUCI music played in the background, a nod to the late DJ whose show "The Exposure" played every Friday afternoon.