Nick Bettis Mourned and Celebrated at Two Thursday Gatherings

  • Students gathered in the high school gym Thursday, Jan. 14 to share their memories of Nick Bettis.

    Students gathered in the high school gym Thursday, Jan. 14 to share their memories of Nick Bettis.

Frazier Mountain High School and Frazier Mountain Park Services Tearful

By Pam Sturdevant

I attended the celebration of life for Nick Bettis at Frazier Mountain High School on Thursday, Jan. 14. I did not know Nick personally, but as a parent whose children attend the high school, I felt tremendous sorrow for his family, friends, fellow students and faculty.

It was very difficult entering the school because I did not want to intrude upon anyone’s grief. I went to the office to check in. The students were hurrying into the gym. I saw Principal Dan Penner who graciously offered to escort me into the gym, seating me in the front row. Many were crying, some still in shock, bringing me to tears myself.

The ceremony began with Mr. Penner saying he is proud of how students are handling the situation. Associated Student Body Advisor Tim Garcia spoke of how tragic it is to lose another student in the same year.

Ronni Howell and Destiny Abreu performed a song they wrote for Nick. Several of Nick’s friends rose to share their feelings, summoning laughter and memories of good times with Nick. Danica Aguilar read a poem. A video of Nick’s life was shown while his favorite songs played.

The first, “Fire Flies” by Owl City, was beautiful. The second song, “I Want to Kill Myself,” took me aback, but when I was told later it was his favorite, as the mother of teens myself, I tried to understand.

After the ceremony the family received hugs and condolences. A group of football players stood together silently reading the poem. Nick will be remembered and deeply missed.

A community memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 23 2 p.m. at FMHS. All are welcome.

This is part of the January 22, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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