SWEETWATER, Tenn. (WVLT) - Sunday was a bittersweet afternoon at Sweetwater High School as teens and their families shed tears for 15-year-old Matthew Daniels while sharing a few laughs, Matt's favorite expression.
SHS principal David Watts led the memorial standing next to an empty desk to remind all that Matthew won't be forgotten.
"We'll make sure that we recognize every milestone that he was a class member and even down to graduation, you know, we'll make a point that this class members that's not with them at graduation," said Watts.
Dr. Frank Crawford from the family's home church First Baptist Church led a prayer and encouraged everyone to join in small groups to talk about the friend they lost.
"It's going to be hard for the school and community, but we'll get through it like we always do," said geography teacher Matt Baldwin.
Baldwin told the crowd they should focus on smiles and laughter. That's the way Matt would've wanted it.
Matthew's family will receive friends at First Baptist Church Sweetwater Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The funeral will follow Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
People who want to contribute are asked to send cash or checks to Matt Daniels Memorial Fund, c/o Sweetwater High School, Sweetwater, TN 37874.