On a day when most people would find themselves deciding on which parties
to attend or what costume to choose, the Fox River Grove community instead joined
together for a final farewell after losing one of their children. Decisions for a family
during impossible times can be extremely difficult, especially
when it concerns services and a final resting place for your child. Shock, depression,
helplessness and instability simply overwhelm you when losing a loved one so unexpectedly.
One decision for the Glassmyer family became very clear. The service and final farewells
for beloved Justin would be held on October 31. “ Halloween was his favorite holiday.”
noted Steve, Justin’s’ stepfather for 13 years. “This is what Justin would want.”
Through T.E.A.R.S., Terry Jacobsen proprietor of The Norge Ski Club donated her
banquet facility for the ceremony. Beginning at 12:00 pm mourners began pouring their way
through the cozy hall. A slide show of Justin growing up was presented on a large screen.
An abundance of photos were put on display near the fireplace. Flowers and their fragrance
overwhelmed the building. Poster boards were scattered about with teens lined up
awaiting their opportunity to express their thoughts. Visitors offered sympathy while
supporting one another. While above the fireplace centered atop the mantle lay a small,
modest, brown wooden box with red roses gently caressing its sides. A large banner was
displayed, “Justin Glassmeyer’s A Celebration of His Life”. Although Justin’s life had
yet to truly begin, it became obvious at the tender age of 15 this young man left his mark
on a community still reeling over the tragedy. One by one piers spoke of his love for bikes,
video games and music. Others spoke of his high spirited nature and his ability to turn a bad
day into a good day with his humor and personality. Justin’s sister Heather choked back tears
when describing her relationship and love for her brother. Parents Annette and Steve
sat calmly with mixed emotions throughout what must have been a very long arduous day.
There was an unmistaken sense of helplessness felt throughout the crowded room. Almost
a disbelief. How and why could this have happened, to this child ?, to this family ? How
could this happen in the same town at the same crossing that took seven of our children
11 years ago. We can only hope and pray that there is a reason. We hope and pray that our
beloved Kristen has found Justin and together they are a match made in heaven. A pair
with a plan, a purpose much larger than we are able to comprehend.
At the family’s request the media along with cameras were politely excused, but the
memories from this Halloween night will remain etched in our minds forever.
Special Thanks to Terry Jacobsen and Tiffany Grom from the Norge Ski Club, the
group from Tuesdays Morning, Caroline Vellinga along with 3 Chefs Catering who through
T.E.A.R.S. donated food and place settings. A special thank you to Vito along with his
daughter Jody and the countless others that offered love, help and support.