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Pilato Urges “Pay It Forward” Motto In Memory of Daughter

A celebration of life and a memorial service will be held for the daughter of community muralist Michael Pilato today. Nineteen-year-old Skye Pilato tragically passed away earlier this month at her home in North Carolina.

Pilato says he just wants people to “pay it forward” in Skye’s memory.

“I have asked myself many times when I have broken down in complete sorrow, ‘Skye what would you like me to do.’ I just woke up she was in my dream and she answered ‘Daddy go out and make a stranger smile today once again, I loved that about you,'” Pilato said. “People are saying I will do anything, we are here for you and your family.’ This is what I would like; please go out of your way and make a stranger smile and think of Skye as you do it.”

Since putting a similar message on his personal Facebook page, Pilato says he’s received dozens of stories from friends and strangers about small acts of kindness and paying it forward — like buying the entire line at Starbucks coffee or just doing nice for someone random.

“There has been such a great reaction,” Pilato said. “As long as people keep smiling, Skye is still with us.”

Pilato has continued to paint through the grief, and he has contract work to do murals in other towns, like Pittston, Pa. The artist is also making some changes to the State College mural, and plans to add a large depiction of Schreyer Dean Christian Brady’s son Mack who died in 2012 (pictured above).

The memorial service will be held later today at 2p.m. at St. Andrews Episcopal Church (corner of Foster Ave. and Fraser St.)

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