About 1,100 people attended the funeral service of Bucyrus High School junior Noah Lear on Monday morning.
Noah died last Wednesday from injuries sustained on Feb. 27 when a basketball hoop, pole and backboard broke and fell on him at Calvary Baptist Church in Bucyrus while he was playing a game of basketball with his friends.
“I don’t think any words can describe how emotional today was, and really the last two weeks have been. No words can describe the hurt everyone is feeling right now,” said Bucyrus City Schools Superintendent Kevin Kimmel after the funeral to the members of the media waiting outside in the media.
Noah’s family members, students, parents, teachers and others stood in silence as Lear’s casket was taken from the school and placed in a waiting hearse. They then released hundreds of red, black and white balloons into the sky in honor of Noah, the popular student everyone liked and everyone will miss.
Kimmel said the service for the 16-year-old was held at the school because many students and staff attended, there was plenty of space and ultimately, it was fitting to hold the service in the gymnasium where Lear played basketball, the game he loved so much.
“As a leader of a school system, this has been, by far, the toughest time,” Kimmel said.
Kimmel said he was expecting a call any day that Noah was out of the coma but that was not the case.
“Dr. Burke received a call from (Noah’s) mom that things were not looking good,” Kimmel said.
Students were told the news last Monday that the prognosis for Noah was grim. Last Wednesday, they were told Noah had taken his last breath that morning.
The school enlisted the help of the Crawford County Trauma Team to help the students with the horrible news.
“We will have grief counselors in the building this week also,” said Kimmel.
Kimmel said students will return to school tomorrow and Wednesday, but will then be on spring break until next Tuesday.
“This will give them much-needed time with their families and friends,” Kimmel said.
This message was placed on a Facebook page dedicated to Noah, Battle of the Lear, after his funeral service:
“Today we bid farewell to our dear Noah. Over 1000 people came from multiple states, and we even had friends from Canada. His family was surrounded by friends both new and old. It was a beautiful remembrance of his life. It was beautiful to see so many people come together. Rob Skaggs even drove all night to get here from Tennessee in order to sing during the service. Then after the service there was a balloon release in front of the school as Noah was taken away.
We truly thank each and every single one of you for all of the support you have shown, and the love you have given.
As we set forth from this moment let us not forget. Remember that life is short, anything can happen, stay positive, stand together, help others, do what you know to be right, and above all smile. Share Noah’s story with others. Help him get his miracle and make this world a better place than when he left.
For those wishing to send cards and notes to his family you can mail them to:
PO Box 1054
Bucyrus, Oh 44820
His mom (Melissa Bloomfield Griffin), step dad (Tate Griffin), and the rest of the family cannot express enough how much your outpouring of love has meant to us all. Thank you.”
Reach Gasuras on Twitter @kimberlygasuras