Sad day lit by happy memories

Claire Lewin, News Editor

The church was dimly lit, and the faces were blurred by a sea of black apparel. Peoples’ expressions were sad yet comforting and optimistic. A four-piece band illuminated the church with sound and feeling. And words swung from grief to flirtations, from summer camp to sorrow.

The service was set to begin at 4:00 pm, yet at 3:30, there was not an empty seat in sight.

Today, March 6, 2014, members of the Westport community gathered at the Christ and Holy Trinity Church to memorialize the life of 2011 Staples High School graduate, Michael Goodgame, a recent victim of a car accident in Minnesota, where Goodgame was a junior.

Despite everyone’s grief over such a tragic loss, the Westport community filled the church with the intention of celebrating Michael’s short life.

The memorial service was filled with prayer, song, and reflection on Goodgame’s life. Speakers included Goodgame’s five best girl friends from Staples, who told stories of sitting in their basement pestering Michael for advice on flirting, breakups, and boys.

“We don’t know how he put up with us,” the girls said. “But we feel blessed it was us that he chose.”

Michael’s two brothers, Clayton and Sam, also spoke at the service, both reading pieces that Michael had written for his school’s literary magazine. Sam ended his speech with a quote in which he called Michael a “dangerous man” because he always dared to live his dreams in the daylight.

Dan Goodgame, Michael’s father, told stories of Michael’s childhood, including one about his first day of school, and Michael’s camp director shared with the audience part of the letter of recommendation he wrote for Michael upon getting into college. In the letter he said that Michael was “one of the finest young adults he had ever had the pleasure of meeting.”

In between speakers, music was performed, including a song sung by Staples graduate, Eva Hendricks who also gave a speech.

The service ended with the words of Reverend Whitney Edwards, who encouraged the audience to spread “Michael’s gospel of integrity, sportsmanship, and thinking,” in order to keep his legacy alive.