This is coming from my local newspaper. Very sad and depressing.: Second-grader liked soccer, library, brother
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
By Hal Lockard and Barbara Hollingsworth
Noah Garey and his brother, Chandler, were discussing their reading homework and who was going to read to whom Tuesday night as they sat in their father's car at a stop light at S.E. 29th and West Edge Road.
They hadn't reached an agreement before tragedy struck from behind, sending Noah to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. He died Thursday at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.
Mark Garey said Friday that he and his sons were returning from Lake Shawnee, where Garey coached Chandler's soccer team practices twice a week. Noah, also a soccer player, attended the practices.
"He liked to play soccer, to play with his cars and he liked to be around his big brother," Mark said of Noah.
And that was why he tagged along on those cross-city excursions to Chandler's practices. It was a drive the three had made "a couple times a week" for a long time, Mark said.
Click here to check for reprint availability.Noah was born June 6, 1999, in Grand Junction, Colo. The family moved to Topeka six years ago. The children attended Indian Hills Elementary School, Noah, 7, in second grade and Chandler, 9, in third grade.
Mark said Noah enjoyed mathematics and going to the library, "and he liked being around his friends."
"We've heard from many of them already," the father said.
The accident Tuesday occurred at about dusk when a pickup truck struck the Garey car from behind, according to the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office. The wreck left the Garey's Geo Prizm crumpled alongside westbound S.E. 29th Street. Passers-by slowed to near stops, looking curiously at the wreckage while firefighters had to exert authority to keep traffic moving.
Mark recalled the moment, saying he sensed the gravity of Noah's injuries.
"I pulled him from the car. I knew what the injuries were," he said.
He said his wife, Heather, was doing "as well as can be expected," leaning on the strength of their Christian faith.
The Gareys are members of Light of the World Christian Center, and Noah had early in his life expressed interest in becoming a minister.
"He wanted to be a minister because he loved Jesus that much," Mark said.
News that a classmate had died was spread in a short statement Thursday afternoon at Indian Hills Elementary School.
"We have some sad news to share with you," began the statement that was to be read simultaneously in second- through sixth-grade classrooms throughout the 575-student building.
"It's like losing a part of your family," principal George Huckabee said in an interview Friday. "There were tears, and that's OK."
Letters also went home with students Thursday afternoon warning parents that their children might respond in different ways. They could become clingy, sad, angry and even feel guilty. Their heads might hurt and their stomachs might ache, the principal wrote.
Parents, he said, should reassure children that they are safe as are others important to them. They should help children understand that it is OK to be sad and have all sorts of feelings about Noah's death. And Huckabee urged parents to maintain normal routines and spend time with children.
A school counselor and psychologist were on hand to work with students Thursday and Friday. If more assistance is needed, the district can draw from its larger pool of school psychologists and counselors, said Martin Weishaar, communications coordinator for Auburn-Washburn Unified School District 437.
"It's a difficult time at the school," Weishaar said, passing along comments from Huckabee. "Of course, the family is in their thoughts. They are doing everything to maintain to keep things normal."
Information about services for Noah weren't available Friday.
A Noah Garey Memorial Fund has been established at Commerce Bank & Trust, 3035 S.W. Topeka Blvd., Topeka, Kan. 66611.
Barbara Hollingsworth can be