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.’
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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.
DPD aims to fill five staff vacancies
The Duncan Police Department is looking for five new officers.
Of the department’s 43 patrol officers, two are females and one is Hispanic. There are no African-American officers.
The city’s search for five new officers includes anyone who is qualified, said Chief of Police Daniel Ford.
Forestry service selling seedlings to public
The Oklahoma Forestry Service will offer the gift of seedlings to the public.
The service, which sells seedlings on its website throughout the year, will come to Duncan to sell seedlings and give Duncan residents a chance to speak to their forester, Kevin Keys, in person during the sale on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Stephens County Conservation District Office at 3901 W. Beech Ave.
Half-cent sales tax approval urged for city’s growth
Twenty years have passed since the City of Duncan passed a half-cent sales tax to establish a foundation to strengthen the local economy.
Lyle Roggow, president of the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation, and Ben Herrington, DAEDF Board chairman, spoke Thursday on the need to continue the sales tax to keep the economy strong.
Junior livestock show finishes Friday night
The 76th Stephens County Junior Livestock Show concludes tonight with the awards presentation at 6 and the bonus sale at 6:30 at the county fairgrounds and expo center.
On Thursday, the doe meat goat show, wether meat goat show, steer show and heifer show were held.
Church Women United organization to celebrate World Day of Prayer
Christian women from various denominations will celebrate their beliefs by coming together this morning to pray.
The local Church Women United organization is set to meet at 9:30 a.m. today in the First Christian Church for fellowship and a program. Today is the 2014 World Day of Prayer, which brings women from all denominations together. The local effort is headed by Church Women United.
Baseball teams remember Chris Lane in Ada
One by one, they stopped playing or coaching and walked past the media to talk about Chris Lane.
Guess you could say he was on everybody’s mind Wednesday, especially the 40 or so players from Redlands Community College and East Central University.
They were all wearing Chris Lane’s numbers on the ECU diamond.
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