'Rainbow of light': Funeral today for St. John's woman killed in Mexico bus crash

Stephanie Horwood is being remembered as an artist, poet, friend and as a mom to two daughters who "always will be her heart and her soul."

42-year-old mom died on excursion to see Mayan ruins with partner and 2 young daughters

Stephanie Horwood, 42, lived in Gatineau, Que., and was originally from St. John's. She died in a bus crash that killed 12 people in Mexico on Dec. 19 in Mexico. (Facebook)

Family and friends are gathering today for the funeral of a woman originally from St. John's who died in a bus crash while on vacation in Mexico.

Stephanie Horwood, a wife and mother of two young girls, is being remembered as a "free spirit" and a "rainbow of light."

She was one of 12 people who died when a bus carrying tourists flipped onto a highway in eastern Mexico on Dec. 19, while dozens of others were injured. 

Horwood, 42, was on a tour to see Mayan ruins with her partner, Fred Reinthaler, and their two daughters, aged nine and 11. Reinthaler had been hospitalized for his leg injuries since he returned home, according to a family friend.

She and her family had been living in Gatineau, Que. and a separate service had been planned to take place there, too.

Horwood, is pictured here with her partner, Fred Reinthaler, right, who arrived home from Mexico on Dec. 21. (Facebook)

Flora Kodl, who has known Horwood for 15 years, said it's been difficult to process the news of her death.

"It's something you just think it's a nightmare and you're going to wake up from," Kodl said days after Horwood's death.

'The most loving, giving and positive of souls'

Horwood loved to dance and sing and was an artist and a poet, according to her obituary, which called her a "free spirit" and "the most loving, giving and positive of souls."

"Her circle of friends spans continents. Once you were in her presence you had a friend for life … But her greatest accomplishment was her two beautiful daughters. They are and always will be her heart and her soul," it reads.

"Everyone who loved her is broken-hearted to see her rainbow of light fade from this world, but we know it will light the way for us into the next one."

With files from Matthew Kupfer