As soon as news spread of the young and sudden death of recent Chewelah graduate Taylor Stacy, close friends reacted immediately to offer his family support wherever possible.
Stacy, 18, graduated from Jenkins High School in June 2012 and had just moved to Spokane in September to begin the two-year Hydrolics program at Spokane Community College. He died in a one-car rollover collision early Wednesday morning, Oct. 10 in Otis Orchards (Spokane County). Stacy was riding with two friends at the time, and alcohol and speed are believed to be factors in the accident.
Community members and friends started raising money for the Stacy family as soon as they heard of the tragedy. Graduating classmates Joey Baker and Boe Smith created posters displaying pictures of Stacy and collected donations at the Homecoming football game on Oct. 12. Close family friends Jennifer Smith and Carra Nupp, who both have children who grew up with Stacy, have also been helping support the family in several ways along with many others.
“This town has been absolutely amazing,” Nupp said. Community members and friends have donated homecooked dinners, bags of groceries among other generous gestures, she said.
“I have a lot of gratitude for people that have stepped up,” Jennifer Smith said. “Everything helps, it all adds up.”
Nupp said they know expenses are going build in time and are working to take as much stress off the family as possible. Currently, blue wristbands that read: “In memory of Taylor Stacy” are now available for $3 at Chewelah Safeway, Jenkins High School, and other local businesses.
There is also a memorial fund set up for the Stacy family at Bank of America in Chewelah as another way to help the family.
Nupp said Stacy had a “fun-loving” personality and was always enjoyable to be around.
Baker added that he was “always himself.”
“He did what he wanted, and didn’t care what anyone thought,” Smith said. “He always saw the good in every situation. He was just so good, there for everyone.”
Baker said their efforts to help the family are also helping to send a message for how drinking and driving can lead to negative outcomes, no matter the extent or frequency.
“Nobody would have thought this would happen to Taylor,” Smith said. “We are hoping kids see that. I’m hoping people understand that this can happen to anyone and it only takes one poor decision.”
“Taylor’s doing this to help other people, help the community,” Baker said.
Local school teachers, staff and students were heavily impacted by the tragedy as well. Although homecoming week activities were in full swing, teachers and students could not hide their sadness and heavy hearts at school following the accident. JHS held a moment of silence in honor of Stacy during the Oct. 11 pep assembly. The Cougar volleyball team also dedicated their game to him that evening.
Furthermore, many people from the community have left messages on Stacy’s Facebook profile sharing fond memories and describing how kind and fun he was, and how much he will be missed.
A memorial service set up by family friends will be held at the Jenkins High School Gym on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. with a coffee and cookies reception. Wristbands may also be available for sale at the memorial as well. Everyone is welcome.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff
Stacy is the son of Alan and Renee Stacy, and brother to Ryan, Kaylynn, and JHS junior Emily Stacy.