Angels Camp, CA — Mourners paid their respects at a memorial service for Alex and Macaila Marshall the two teens killed by their father, Phillip Marshall, last week. Hundreds of people filled the stands at the Bret Harte High School football stadium in Angels Camp Saturday morning. Two big pictures, one of 14 year old Macaila and one of 17 year old Alex, along with flowers were the backdrop for the memorial service.
The teen’s Aunt Paula Alter told the crowd, “I don’t know about you, but I so feel their presence with us. We are here to honor the remarkable and wonderful young people that they were and say a gentle farewell to them.”
Classmate and good friend Brice Giplin reflected on her memories of singing “You Are My Sunshine” with Alex. Tears welled up in her eyes as she sang the song to the crowd in tribute to him.
Calling all her family to join her at the podium, Sean Marshall, Alex’s and Macaila’s Mother asked the question why, “When I heard of this devastation, there are no words ever to explain the emotions, the hurt, the regrets. I couldn’t hear God at that moment. I couldn’t hear his answers why; why would you do this, why them, why me?” She went on to tell stories of Alex’s love of music and humor and the funny faces Macaila always made and her love of school.
Two classmates read notes in memory to the teens written by students. One read, “I wish I could make people feel special the way Alex and Macaila did. The impact you had on the campus is amazing you are not here and yet you still manage to bring everyone together.” Another read, “You two are such great people the saddest thing is we never got to say good-bye.”
Doria Curry a Sonora High School student says she came to support her Bret Harte friends, “Alex was the same age as me and it’s just eye-opening to see tragedy happen so close.”
Bret Harte High School Principal/Superintendent Michael Chimente told the mourners, “We don’t know why tragic events like these happen, but we’ve seen new life sprouting forth this week in the lives students and the bonds of love that have been formed. There’s fruit in this community with an outpouring of love, support and togetherness.”
Copperopolis Resident Ashley Hampton echoed that statement, “I’m here today to support the community. I didn’t know the teens, but I think as a community we have to unit in tragic times like this.”