Remembering Haley Nellum


Published 04/08 2014 09:26AM

Updated 04/08 2014 11:22AM

Family, friends, and Bishop Dwenger classmates gathered to lay to rest 17 year old Haley Nellum. 

WFFT's Brooke Welch has more on the funeral and how her story is touching the lives of complete strangers.

A life lost too young as Haley Nellum has left behind hundreds of people that miss her dearly.

"It's extremely shocking, still can't believe it.  It's like a bad dream, it's just horrible."

"We all practiced together so it's going to be weird without Haley there.  She was always a big part of the team, so Bishop Dwenger volleyball was always one big family."

"I didn't even need to be that close to Haley, because every time you'd think you guys were best friends.  She was kind like that."

At St. Charles Catholic Church there were lots of tears as words of encouragement were spoke by Father Jacob.

Volleyball teammates Jamie Firestine says what she'll miss most.

"She was always smiling and positive, she was never negative.  Even if she didn't get her way, she was always happy and that's something everyone admired about her."

Leo 9th grader Mary Sell says Haley will be missed, "I've never seen her sad ever, she was always really really nice, and she just kind of made everyone happy and she had the best smile ever.  It's just hard to know that she's not there."

A candle was placed in the center of the sanctuary in symbolism of Christ's light.  Sell says faith will help get them all through this.

"I'm not mad at God.  I know He did it for a reason.  We just miss her.  I wish she didn't go but it's hard but I miss her a lot."

Haley's story affects many people beyond her friends and family.  While at the funeral, WFFT talked with Darl Fox, a man that had heard Haley's story on the news.  Fox showed up at the funeral with white pigeons that the family could release at the gravesite in Haley's honor.

"She said something about when she would take a spider from the house instead of killing it, she'd take it and release it outside.  So I thought she must have had a kind heart."

In 1978, Fox's brother, his sister-in-law, 3 year old niece, and his youngest sister were all killed due to a drunk driver accident after his cousin's wedding so he wanted to do something special for the family.

"I did it hoping they would enjoy it ya know?  Kind of keep their mind off the thing that were going on."

Fox says they did the trinity release and it was symbolic for the family.

"The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit and then there is 1 released for the deceased.  The 3 are up flying and then the 1 gets released later on, a few seconds later and then it comes together."

Fox is just glad that he could provide the family a little bit of comfort in their time of grief.

"They all wanted to do it and they thought it was pretty nice."

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