Friends and family are organizing a memorial for two teens whose lives were tragically taken recently after a two-car collision in Thunderbird Farms.
The public is invited to a memorial Nov. 11 at Sequoia Pathway Academy, 19265 N Porter Road, hosted by Faith Baptist Church. The time is tentatively set for 3 p.m.
Seventeen-year-old Michael and his brother Matthew, 16, died due to injuries sustained in the rollover accident after police say another vehicle ran a stop sign at the Papago and Ralston roads intersection on Oct. 29.
The Voss family of six was heading home after church Sunday afternoon.
Jeff Wasilenski worships with the Voss family at Faith Baptist Church in Maricopa, a small congregation that meets at Sequoia Pathway Academy. He described the Voss family as great people, who are “quiet, meek and mild.”
Nathan Voss, father of Matthew and Michael, is a deacon there.
“He (Nathan) wrote a prayer this morning and he posted it to the public and everyone has to read it. I’ve never wept like that in my life. It’s a tough read, let me tell you,” Wasilenski said.
Nathan Voss published a prayer Nov. 1 on Facebook, days after the accident, expressing grief and faith in God.
It reads in part, “Dear Lord, precious Heavenly Father, You gave me two sons. I thank you for them. Throughout their time here on earth their bodies were ravaged and anguished with the horrible disease of Muscular Dystrophy, among other things. The 16 and 17 years we got to raise them, we got to watch them grow. And mature. And smile. Those years are so precious and memory-filled, and now those years are over. You have chosen to take them home. To bless them with new, glorious, disease-free bodies.”
The funeral for Matthew and Michael, limited to family and close friends only, will be held in the Valley Nov. 11 before the public memorial at Faith Baptist, which meets at Sequoia Pathway.
Family friend Mark Bruto da Costa organized an online fundraiser for the Voss family. The goal amount listed on the campaign is $200,000.
“There will undoubtedly be high medical, memorial and funeral expenses,” Bruto da Costa wrote. “Also, they will need another vehicle.”
Walinski said Nathan’s daughter, Leighann, had surgery to repair a broken arm.
“I think everyone at this point has been released from the hospital. The baby is OK and his wife are OK,” Wasilenski said.
Shortly after news spread of the Matthew and Michael’s deaths, the community took to social media to offer condolences and support.
“I didn’t expect 300 people that I’ve never met to make comments,” Wasilenski said. “I love our community. Everybody has just been awesome.”