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Community remembers Misty Young

Amanda Holt Miller
Post Independent Staff

PARACHUTE ” The Grand Valley High School gymnasium was packed with people Monday morning.

Family, friends and community members gathered Monday to attend a memorial service for Misty Young, a 17-year-old GVHS junior who died Nov. 29 in a car accident.

“This is awesome,” said Rick Gallegos, Grand Valley High School wrestling coach and Young family friend. “All of you, here, for Misty.”



During the service audience members took turns exchanging hugs with Steven and Roberta Young, Misty’s parents, and Misty’s younger sisters Samantha and Shawnee.

Students attended in homemade “Misty will live in our hearts forever” T-shirts, or in red GVHS Cardinals T-shirts with Misty’s name and the words “forever in our hearts” printed on the back. The line to pass along condolences to the family snaked around three quarters of the gym.



Several of Misty’s friends approached the podium to read poems, most of them written by the students for their friend.

Pastor John Yadloski gave a sermon for Misty, reiterating the message her aunt Kathy Young passed on to the crowd, that Misty has gone “to a better place” and she will again be with her family and friends in heaven.

Gallegos conducted the service, stopping only for a moment in the beginning of the event to answer his cellular phone.

“It’s Misty,” he said to the audience before passing on her hellos to the GVHS wrestling team, which she managed, and the Rifle High School softball team, of which she was a member.

Misty’s father, Steve, spoke near the conclusion of the ceremony.

“It’s really neat to see all of you here, and it really makes us realize how special Misty was, that she touched all of your lives,” Steve said. “When you see us in the store please don’t shy away from us and think, ‘Those are the poor parents who lost their daughter.’ Come shake our hands and tell us, ‘Hey, I remember when Misty did this…’ And let’s have no more of this. This is not fun.”

Steve also referred to the recent loss of many young Parachute residents who have died unexpectedly within the last two and a half years.

“There’s also another special person here today, Megan Braby,” Steve said. Braby was driving the car that crashed on County Road 301.

“Megan, we love you, and we’re just a few doors down,” Steve said. “Megan is an awesome girl.”

At the end of the ceremony, the crowd sang.

“Today is Misty’s rebirth into heaven,” Gallegos said. “But it’s also her sister Shawnee’s birthday. So we’re going to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to them. And since Misty was older, we’re going to say her name first.”

Shawnee stood next her father, who held Misty’s photograph, at the front of the gym as the crowd sang “Happy Birthday.”


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