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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Babineaux sentenced in armed robberies
A Duncan teenager was sentenced Monday for his role in a series of armed robberies of convenience stores earlier this year.
Tre Demetrius Babineaux, 18, was one of four Duncan teens arrested in relation to three armed robberies that took place toward the end of March. The other teens included Dakota John Smith, 19; Quincy Sahtoren Barnes, 20; and Peyton Thad Graham, 20.
Babineaux was the only one charged as a youthful offender.
Tree, Wreath Auction has highest grossing year yet
The Tree and Wreath Auction had its best year even, garnering $3,335 for its grand total.
The auction, which is a collaborative effort between the Duncan Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Simmons Center, raises funds for area charities. This was the 12th year for the silent auction event.
Items, including decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, centerpieces and various other goodies, were donated and auctioned with the funds going toward selected charities. For instance, the Friends of the Stephens County Humane Society donated items with the Stephens County Humane Society as the benefactor.
Christmas Auction raises $30,000 to help local children
Though there are some pledges still out, the annual Christmas Auction was deemed successful after raising more than $32,000 last week.
All 400 plus donation items were sold during the five-night event, which was turned over the Duncan Rotary Club this year. It was previously run by the Duncan Jaycees Club.
“All of the items sold, most of them for retail value,” said Cindy Reynolds, auction chairperson. “We’re pleased with the outcome.”
Duncan school board to discuss possible bond issue
Another bond issue may be on the horizon for Duncan Public Schools.
Tuesday’s meeting will explore the possibility of adding a safe/art room at the Duncan High School. This would be contingent on the passage of a bond issue April 2014.
PBK Architect and CMS Willowbrook, both companies involved in the renovation process at the Duncan High School, will be giving a presentation about the DHS safe/art room project to the Duncan Board of Education.
CU Victorian Tea draws 60
Snow didn’t hinder Cameron University’s Simmons Center tie-in program, the Victorian Tea on Sunday.
And in its fifth year, the Victorian Tea had a strong participation, regardless of recent winter weather. Vivian Thomlinson, CU professor of English, hosted the program through the School of Liberal Arts.
Commissioners approve county’s portion of road project
An industrial access road for South Second is a step closer to becoming reality for Stephens County District 2.
During Monday’s regular meeting, the Board of Stephens County Commissioners approved its portion of the project, which has an agreement with the commissioners board, the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation, the City of Duncan and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
All schools closed Tuesday
All Stephens County public schools and Red River Technology Center will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Winter weather continues
Temperatures dropped to 10 degrees. Freezing rain and snow fell, covering roads and yards. Through all of it, one thing was certain: Winter weather had come to Duncan.
In fact, about 0.23 inches of precipitation fell between 10:30 a.m. Thursday and about 9 a.m. Friday. By Friday afternoon, snow drifts ranged from about 2 inches up to 4 inches. And high temperatures leveled out at 25 degrees.
Museum on track for holidays
Although watching car after car go by while waiting for the caboose to pass at a railroad crossing is usually inconvenient, there is something almost mesmerizing about a model train going round and round a track.
In the past, many a family Christmas tree was accompanied by a model train at its base. In Duncan, one woman set up an entire Christmas village, complete with train, at her home and opened it up to the public. That scene has now been recreated by the Stephens County Historical Museum.
Duncan FD battles blaze
Snow fell Friday, but Duncan firefighters stayed warm by the heat of a structure fire.
About 10 firefighters responded to a blaze around 10:30 a.m. Friday in the 100 block of South Fourth Street. A structure, just south of Main Street, was fully involved.
The building was across Fourth Street from Southwest Foods. The fire was contained to the one building.
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- Babineaux sentenced in armed robberies