Remember to smile and say ‘I love you.’
That’s what friends and family of Alyssa Dawn Wiles are choosing to do and that was the message delivered Thursday during a candlelight service held in her memory.
Alyssa’s best friend, Sally Pollock, read a poem and released lime green balloons during the tribute. She and many others wore lime green T-shirts with a photo of Alyssa on the front. Alyssa, 14, died Monday at her home. She is the daughter of Brad and Angela Wiles and little sister of Zachary Abbott.Kaitlynn Young, girlfriend of Abbott, wrote the poem.
The memorial service was held at the Duncan High School baseball stadium and several members from the Patriot Guard Riders were there to hand out copies of “Alyssa’s Poem” printed on lime green paper. While it wasn’t written by Alyssa, it described all the things her loved ones remember her for.
“She was a free spirit ... she could always make you laugh ... she made people grin ...”
And each person who spoke, talked of Alyssa’s big grins. At one point, the crowd in the stands were asked to turn and look at those closest to them and share a smile.
Pastor Mike King was one of the speakers and he provided words of comfort for the crowd, which ranged in all ages and from all walks of life — children, Alyssa’s co-dancers from Heartbeat Dance Studio, and even Patriot Guard Riders, of which she was a member, along with her grandparents, Randy and Sharon Gilreath.
“No doubt, there are a flood of emotions flowing .... from sorrow to anger ... despair to numbness,” he said.
“Enjoy your friends, but choose them wisely.”
And there was also the reminder that there is no promise of tomorrow.
King shared personal stories of Alyssa, and said memories of her laughter have helped him get through this week.
“Lean on those around you.”
A Duncan Middle School teacher, Kim Mays, also shared memories, emphasizing that the last words she and Alyssa exchanged were “I love you.”
Others who spoke were Stephanie Gregston, Alyssa’s dance instructor, and Duncan Public School Superintendent Sherry Labyer.
Funeral service for Alyssa will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Parkview Baptist Church. Patriot Guard Riders will escort the processional to the Duncan Cemetery for her burial.
Remember to smile and say ‘I love you.’
- Local News
County to seek bids for fairgrounds expansion project
Expansion of the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center may get underway as early as this summer.
The Stephens County commissioners, joined by fairgrounds director Mike Anderson, discussed the expansion project during their meeting Monday. The commissioners approved going out for bids to see how much it would cost to build another building the same size as the Expo Arena and to relocate the South Stall Barn south to the outdoor stalls.
Lane suspects back in court Wednesday
The preliminary hearing in the death of Australian native Christopher Lane will continue on Wednesday for three Duncan teenagers charged in the fatal shooting.
The hearing, which began on Feb. 4 but was recessed until Wednesday, will determine if there is sufficient evidence for the cases against the suspects to be taken to trial.
Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 18 face first-degree murder charges in the Aug. 16, 2013, death of Lane, who shot while jogging in the afternoon at Country Club Road near Twilight Beach.
Vehicle burglars strike seven times
A string of seven car burglaries over the weekend has prompted Duncan police to urge residents to lock up their vehicles and take valuables inside at night.
Four car thefts were reported in Duncan on Sunday and three were reported Saturday, with over $1,000 worth of items and cash stolen from vehicles.
City council to discuss projects, half-cent sales tax
City Manager Jim Frieda hopes to give Duncan City Council members an idea of how much money the city would get from continuation of the city’s half-cent economic development sales tax.
Council members will meet at 5:15 p.m. today in the council chambers at 720 W. Willow.
Infrastructure projects, including street improvements and water conservation efforts, are on the agenda for discussion.
Lt. Gov. Lamb says he’ll look at governorship when Fallin finished
Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, a Rebublican from Enid, made his formal announcement for re-election this week and made a campaign swing through Stephens County. He stopped by the Duncan Banner last week for a chat with news editor Steve Olafson. Here’s how it went:
Waurika reshuffles City Hall lineup
With the city manager now on administrative leave, members of the Waurika City Commission wanted someone to steer the ship, and they found that person Monday when Brad Scott was hired as acting city manager.
In addition, following a one-hour executive session, the four members of the commission named City Treasurer Nancy Bluml as assistant city manager.
Waurika City Commissioners reinstate Brown
Chuck Brown was somewhat surprised early last week when the Waurika City Commissioners voted to terminate him from the position of city manager.
Brown was very surprised four days later to learn he had been “un-terminated” and restored to the city manager position.
Awards handed out at livestock show
Winners were announced and students walked away vests and plaques at the end of the week-long 76th annual Stephens County Junior Livestock Show, which ended Friday.
Following the award ceremony, the premium sale began as livestock was auctioned off.
Stephens County Fair Board secretary Kathy Shorter said funds for the sale are gathered through the different clubs in support of the students in the competition.
School boards to meet Monday
Bray-Doyle, Central High and Velma-Alma public schools will meet at their respective superintendents’ offices at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Velma-Alma’s school board will discuss possible re-employment of certified teachers and staff for next school year and possible approval of a senior trip to Medieval Times in May
Today marks beginning of Daylight Savings Time
Daylight Savings Time began in the early hours today as clocks were set forward one hour.
Clocks were skipped ahead from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. and won’t be set back again until Nov. 2 when Daylight Savings Time ends.
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- County to seek bids for fairgrounds expansion project