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Family offers forgiveness at memorial for crash victim
LANGLEY — Sorrow, laughter and forgiveness — along with hundreds of people — filled South Whidbey Assembly of God for a memorial service for Marcel “Mick” Poynter.
Poynter, 20, perished in a car crash shortly after midnight Saturday, Nov. 12, along with Charles “Mack” Porter III, 19, and Robert Bruce Knight, 22.
Nobody said much about the accident. Instead, they urged people to learn from the tragedy and talk about choices.
“It wasn’t just three lives lost,” said Mike Poynter, Mick’s father, referring to Kaylea Souza, the driver in the one-car accident. “Her life will probably be ruined. Me and Mick’s mom have forgiven her.”
He thanked Ariel Beason and Miranda Medeiros for saving Souza from the crash and trying to save the three men.
“Don’t forget what happened last week,” he added.
Far more than 400 people filled the worship hall at the church. Initially, about 375 chairs were out in rows 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start. The crowd seemingly doubled 15 minutes before the memorial was set to begin, and folding chairs were brought into the hall as some of the crowd stood along the back walls.
Poynter’s mother, Georgiann’e Poynter, scanned the crowd as she delivered her eulogy. She recognized some of the faces as her son’s friends, her friends’ children and other young people she called her “other children.”
She urged people to address the fear some of the youths may feel when they consider calling their parents for a ride home after drinking.
“We need to do something for these kids and give them a ride home,” she said.
“I can’t afford losing another child,” she said as she sobbed.
She called her son her “home boy.” Poynter tried to move to California, but soon after arriving, he called his mom and asked to come home.
“When they wanted to know his occupation, I wanted to say, ‘Peter Pan,’” she said. “He just didn’t want to grow up.”
She also asked the mourners who gathered to forgive Souza.
“Like Mike said, don’t hold any resentment at Kaylea. Those boys made the choice to get in (the car),” she said. “You can hate her choices, but don’t hate Kaylea.”
Poynter loved playing baseball. His friends and former coaches remembered his intense competitiveness meted by his desire to enliven his teammates.
One coach, Dave Moody, told the crowd about bringing Poynter up from junior varsity to play in the district playoffs. He went on to score both runs in the 3-2 loss to Burlington-Edison.
“Mickey was the spark plug,” Moody said.
Poynter enjoyed a good laugh as much as he enjoyed a good day of snowboarding. When they were combined, that was better. Moody recalled being on a ski trip with Poynter and his son.
“To this very day I wish I had more pictures of that trip, but Mick made it really clear why I didn’t,” Moody said. “He said, ‘Coach, you gotta keep up to be in the pictures.’”
Two photo slideshows set to music played at the beginning of the memorial. The first was a collage of recent photos of Poynter. The second set was chronological and began with Poynter as a baby and followed his maturation into young adulthood.
A third video slideshow titled, “Mick Poynter, Young Forever,” on YouTube ended the memorial before Pastor Matt Chambers addressed the crowd about what to do next.
Earlier, Chambers confronted the difficult questions of “Why?” and “Where was God?” that arise after a death.
“It’s always tough when someone young leaves this earth,” he said. “God takes no pleasure when people die. God’s heartbroken when people die.”
His proposal to continue the healing process included forgiveness and compassion. He encouraged the audience to send Poynter’s parents and family a card and flowers in six months, nine months or a year.
“Life is too short to hold grudges,” Chambers said. “Say six months down the road that you remember, that you care.”