Hundreds mourned the deaths Charles Powell, 7, and Braden Powell, 5, at a funeral service this past weekend. Below, find eulogies delivered by the boys' teachers.
Charles Joshua Powell
Delivered by Tammy Oughton, Charlie's kindergarten teacher at Emma Carson Elementary school.
Charles Joshua Powell was born on January 19, 2005 in Salt Lake City, Utah. His first five years in the West Valley City home on Sarah Circle were enriched by loving friends in the Hunter 36th Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he attended Primary and other ward activities. (His) Uncle Kirk, Aunt Jenny and their five children, Kiirsi Hellewell, Debbie Caldwell and her daycare, and many other friends were important in little Charlie's life. At an early age Charlie displayed a keen intellect and compassionate heart. He loved to work along side his mother in the garden, making salsa and bread. He was fascinated with insects and critters discovered on picnics and field trips.
Charlie moved to South Hill, Washington two years ago and attended a YMCA summer camp in 2010. Then he attended Carson Elementary that fall for kindergarten, and I had the honor of being Charlie Powell's Kindergarten teacher.
He was an amazing young man. He had an appreciation for nature that I have never seen in someone so young. He loved rocks, sticks, leaves and bugs. He collected these items at recess and always had a hard time parting with them when it was time to return to class. He often left them by the outside door so he could play with them later.
On many occasions, he tried to sneak a worm or caterpillar into the class. He was a good sport whenever I "caught" him, and he would make sure the bug was safe and sound before joining the class.
Charlie loved to write. He enjoyed every aspect of writing - from formulating ideas to writing the story and creating a marketing plan for the book. My favorite story was about how to grow plants. Charlie worked especially hard on the cover. He even included a detailed bar code. Without any prompting, he designed a marketing flyer, which included a release date for the book and offered "free seeds" to the first 100 people who purchased the book. He brought in zip-lock baggies of apple seeds in anticipation of the "publishing date."
Classmates liked the silly little things he did to make them laugh. The last time I saw him, Charlie was standing on the lawn in front of the school. He had his coat on backward and his hood covered his face. He was doing some kind of ninja moves. It made me smile.
His first grade teacher, John Huson, shared this about Charlie, who was in his class this year:
"One week ago, Charlie approached me in class and said, "Mr. Huson, guess what? You are getting a new student."
I said, "Really, how do you know?"
He went on to say, "Well, I am moving and you are getting a new student. This new student will also be using my desk and my book box. This new student looks like me and he sounds just like me. The only difference is the new student will be wearing glasses."
So, I finally caught on that this was Charlie's funny way of telling me he is getting glasses. I said, "Well, I can't wait to meet this new student because he will be in the cool glasses club like me."
I loved how Charlie always tried to think of unique ways to communicate. He always had a huge grin on his face when he knew he was being clever.
Charlie was a well-liked student in the classroom. There was never a time this year where Charlie didn't have a partner or a friend to talk to.
In our class Charlie was known as the little scientist. When we learned about sea stars and crabs he shared what he knew about their defense mechanisms and things they ate and the type of habitat they lived in and the texture of their skin and the type of family they were from, "Not a family like a brother or sister, Mr. Huson, a family of animals that are like that animal," and so on.
He would literally just want to talk and talk about a subject for huge chunks of time. And when he did, the kids listened.
I remember one lesson about weather when I said, "This is something that scientists spend many hours doing and studying."
A student raised her hand and said, "Ah, Mr. Huson, Charlie is a scientist," inferring we should ask him.
My response was, "Yes, yes, he is," and I just looked at him and smiled.
Charlie's grandparents observed that he was an artist and an engineer as well. His time was consumed with constructing things from cardboard, paper, tape, Legos®, tinker toys and play dough.
Charlie's 2012 New Year's resolution was to build a new special project every week, and he was on track to make that goal so far this year. He was enthralled with the progress of the addition being built on the house the past couple of months and loved to help Grandpa whenever he could. For his 7th birthday last month, Charlie was disappointed that the winter storm and power outage prevented most of the guests from coming. But the computer he got from his grandparents made up for it, and he spent hours playing educational games on it.
He loved learning facts. He called non-fiction books, "real books", and he had an amazing ability to remember what he learned.
Charlie parted this life on February 5, 2012 but his funny, bright, compassionate personality lives on with all who knew him. He, too, is safe in his mother's arms, enveloped in the grace of their Savior, Jesus Christ.
We will miss him, but he will not be forgotten.
Braden Timothy Powell
Delivered by Pre-K teacher Kristie King, accompanied by colleague Kara Cornworth.
Braden Timothy Powell was born on January 2, 2007 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was blessed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and attended the Hunter 36th Ward. His first three years were spent in West Valley City where he thrived on vegetables from his mother's garden, her homemade bread and pies. Braden loved playing with his cousins, Aunt Jenny and Uncle Kirk, and other family friends.
At Daydreams and Fun Things Childcare with Debbie Caldwell, Braden and his brother enjoyed outings to the zoo and the Wheeler Farm. Picnics at parks were a favorite family past time. Braden and his best friend, Leif, would sit and play trucks for a long time. One of his former day-care mates recalls that Braden and Charlie were always losing their socks, a habit that continued, and she said they always stood by each other.
Since December of 2009, the boys resided in South Hill, Washington. They attended the YMCA summer camp in 2010, where they began making new friends with teachers and children there.
Most recently Braden was enrolled in the YMCA Pre-K School where he was well known for telling exciting stories. Teacher Miss Candace said that Braden walked through the doors everyday with a big smile on his face.
Braden loved being at school with the other children. He was kind and attentive to other's needs and was a ready helper to set up the next activity.
At meal or snack times he attended to the needs of his classmates, making sure they had enough to eat. He was polite and considerate.
Braden had a sharp mind and big imagination. He loved building whatever he could envision with brightly colored magnetic blocks, tinker toys, and Legos. When his latest invention was finished, he wanted everyone to see it. He was also a budding puzzle master. He could do 48-piece puzzles by himself, and when his brother tired of doing a 100-piece puzzle with Grandpa, Braden would finish it with Grandpa.
Braden had a contagious joyful energy, and he was a tease! He played a cat and mouse game where he tried to bate one teacher in order to tag another. With a huge smile on his angelic face he would give Miss Kristin that look like, "You gonna come and get me?" If Kristin pretended not to see him, he would yell, "Hey! Come chase me Miss Kristin!"
When playing "Red Light, Green Light", he would trip and fall when the teacher said "Yellow", and then jump up and say he was alright. Braden was also a tickle monster. He loved to tickle and be tickled. He was physically strong and never tired of running.
Braden loved playing outside in his grandparents' backyard, often trailing big brother Charlie, and hunting frogs and catching insects. He liked to help Grandma gather produce from her garden, too. Sticks and dirt and rocks became his toys and tools in the outdoors.
Braden had enthusiasm for life and took pleasure in everything. He especially enjoyed holidays and birthdays. Last Halloween, he was excited to be the Transformer Bumble Bee. He celebrated his 5th birthday last month with a family dinner party complete with birthday cake, candles and presents. He had a wonderful time surrounded by so many on whom he could shower his affection.
Orange was Braden's favorite color. Anything that was orange was his, or it should have been, according toBraden. He saved the orange blocks for the tallest of his skyscrapers.
Braden was a vehicle boy. He loved cars and trucks and trains. At school, one of his favorite things was the trains. He ran the tracks from the block area to the hallway, as long as he could make it, and then run as many trains on it as he could.
It was obvious that Braden loved his grandparents. At the end of each preschool day, he would look out the window to wait for his Grandma to pick him up, telling everyone how much fun he had with them and how much he loved them. He just leapt into her waiting arms.
He had a heart of gold, always wanting to show affection. Braden liked to hold his teacher's hand and not let go. He was cuddly with his grandparents, aunts and cousins. Teachers, class mates and even first-time visitors to the house were showered with Braden's hugs and "I love you's." And always there was that big beautiful smile on a face so like his mother's.
Braden was welcomed into the arms of his waiting mother and their Heavenly Father on February 5, 2012. His little spirit lives on in the hearts of all who knew him.