MARYSVILLE – “Share Robbie’s story. Honor your friend. Let his story give life to someone who needs it.”
Pastor Matt Lancombe said those words to about 500 people, many of them students, in the Marysville Getchell High School gym Sept. 16.
He was talking about Robbie Myrick Jr., who died Aug. 28, 10 days after being critically injured in a fight in a forest south of Pinewood Elementary School. He was only 16.
Ten friends of Robbie’s spoke at the memorial. Many talked about Robbie being someone they looked up to. He was always smiling and laughing. And he was compassionate, listening to people’s problems and trying to help. But mostly, they talked about love. Many said he was like a brother who inspired them.
“His legacy is that he loved people,” Lancombe said.
The pastor challenged everyone as they were leaving to “love each other. That’s what Robbie would do.”
Lancombe said that when this type of tragedy occurs in a community, many ask, “Why did this happen?” People go through different emotions.
“It’s senseless. A young man’s life was taken way too soon,” he said.
The pastor encouraged young people to seek guidance. “Do not walk through this alone,” he said.
Lancombe had some final words of encouragement.
“Thank you for coming to Marysville and showing us how to live,” he said of Robbie. And to all those in attendance he said, “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.”
Robbie’s dad, Robert Myrick Sr., and their family put together a slide show about Robbie’s life. The pictures were shown to the music, “What a Wonderful World,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and “Every Breath You Take.” The photos started with baby pictures on up. Many were of family outings: camping, fishing and at the beach, along with him in Green Bay Packers gear.
When his friends spoke, they said things like, “Sorry I let you down,” and “Please wake up.” They talked about how they think of him every day, and appreciate things he did, like push them out of their comfort zones. One friend has a tattoo on his wrist in honor of Robbie, while another said he and Robbie had kept trying to get their parents together.
Still another friend said Robbie was the best three-point shooter he ever saw at age 15. “He had a good head on his shoulder. He knew right from wrong. He’s looking down from heaven – of course with a basketball in his right hand.”
Many friends talked about Robbie’s love of basketball. He practiced all the time and hoped to make the MG team this year. He liked the Oklahoma City Thunder, the former Seattle Sonics, NBA team.
Another guest spoke of his son’s friendship with Robbie. He just knew him as the kid up the street. But when the boy needed a place to live, the Myricks opened their house to him.
One of Robbie’s teachers who attended, Jaci Legore-Hodgins, said, “This is a young man who showed others how to act. Remember how he made time for you and how he helped you?”
She described Robbie as honest and brave. She challenged students to be “friend rich” – not necessarily in numbers but of high quality who will have your back.
“Let’s try to be more like Robbie,” the teacher said. “Robbie is always going to be with us.”
She gave a shout out to one of Robbie’s friends who had gotten him involved in a youth group. Robbie had planned to be baptized.
“Let’s commit, and resolve, to take care of each other,” she concluded.