Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Bellevue boy's life celebrated

Express Staff Writer

Barrett's family, Robert, Lisa, Gavin and Caitlyn Admire skied off the top of Bald Mountain in his honor Sunday. Photo by Willy Cook

A mountaintop observance on Baldy was announced at the close of a memorial celebration Saturday at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum for Barrett William Admire, 10, who died Sunday, Nov. 28.

Barrett died as a result of an automobile accident that occurred in Nevada at the end of a Thanksgiving trip.

Family, Hemingway Elementary School classmates and teachers and friends filled church pews to capacity for the service. It was standing room only in the sanctuary.

The silence of the audience was as moving as the yet undecorated Christmas tree and the scent of candles. The Rev. Wendy Collins delayed the ceremony to allow everyone time to assemble in the room, adorned with flowers and filled with the warmth of low angle winter sunlight. A photo of Barrett holding a wake board was placed next to the lectern.

In opening Collins encouraged family and friends to share their love and support with Barrett's parents, Lisa and Robert Admire, his siblings, twin sister Caitlyn and brother Gavin and their friend Mark Scheving, who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

"There is no easy way to share this day," Collins said, stressing the power of community support in the face of loss. "To the question of why, there is no answer on this earthly plane. Our job is that we go on and do the best that we can."

Members of Barrett's family also gave readings and remembrances. His uncle Eric Magnuson described Barrett as a "full throttle" boy with a tender heart, a very good friend and a great brother.

Barrett's cousin Ryan Magnuson composed and played a song on the grand piano based on the three musical notes of Barrett's initials, B, A and E, which made an inspirational melody that ended on a high note.

Barrett's aunt Lisa Magnuson read from "The Little Prince," and was followed by remembrances from Barrett's teacher Patty Scherer, who began nearly an hour of Barrett stories. Microphones passed from one speaker to the next.

"Our class will always keep Barrett in our hearts and he will always keep us smiling," Scherer said.

And smile they did, recalling stories of chasing "Mr. Stealth" up a baseball field backstop with fistfuls of apples, playful sleepovers and laser tag at Boondocks Fun Center in Boise.

One of Barrett's schoolmates, Syringa, recalled something he said during class while the children were studying Idaho State symbols.

"He said, "I sit next to a flower and her name's Syringa and her name's in the book.'"

People craned their necks to see people speaking about Barrett's charismatic smile, athletic and artistic talent and his love of family.

Barrett's mother, Lisa, read something she wrote that morning describing Barrett's role in the family as a source of strength with a gentleman's touch. His father, Robert, relayed a story about a day spent casting for trout with his son.

In closing Collins brought the gathering back from the stories of joy and laughter to discuss how to face the pain of loss.

"As a community all of us are always here," she said, asking people to stay active in the Admire family's lives. "There is no way in our wildest thoughts we can comprehend how you feel right now."

Collins reminded the family and Scheving to remember their love for Barrett, remember the word accident and to go forward with gusto.

Collins also cautioned students to wear their seatbelts.

"Have this be your gift from your friend," she said. "Wear your helmets when you ride bikes and wear seatbelts in cars ... you do it on your own."

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