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New Germany grapples with loss of young life

by Stacey Colwell


RCMP officers stand in front of the crash scene where Julie DeBaie's car careened off the road and into a telephone pole.
 COUNTY - Sixteen-year-old Julie DeBaie was remembered as a beautiful, smart, fun-loving, hard-working and kind young woman in the days after her death on Highway 10 last week.

 "She was a special person," said an e-mail from Marcus Noel, her basketball coach at New Germany Rural High School.

 "She gave her ABSOLUTE best everytime she touched the floor. She as one person had more heart and determination than most teams we played against - and that's not a knock at other teams - it's just the way it was."

 Mr. Noel said she also earned high 90s marks in the courses he taught her.

 "We also had a relationship where we could laugh and joke with each other and make fun of each other. She was just an all-around incredible kid … as a coach, I'm devastated, not for losing an athlete or basketball player, but for losing such a wonderful person … the only thing that resonates with me is that 'only the good die young' and Julie was one of the absolute best."

 Julie was a newly licenced driver when she died around 10 a.m. on June 17. Her Pontiac Sunbird left the road in Pinehurst heading towards New Germany, hit a telephone pole and landed on its roof. Road and weather conditions were good at the time and there were no skid marks on the pavement.

 The incident was the latest in a string of sudden deaths involving both students and adults with ties to the school over the past year or so.

 "We as a school community have suffered immensely these deaths over the past year and a half," said principal Glenn DeMone in an interview last week.

 He remembered Julie as a popular, athletic and strong academic student.

 "The school community is deeply saddened, but we're very proud and pleased we're going to be able to accommodate the family's request to hold the [June 21] funeral service here at the school."

 In the days following Julie's death, hundreds of people joined a Facebook site dedicated to her.

 "You always had a smile on your face, even when life threw you curveballs … rest in peace, baby girl, you're flying with your dad amongst the angels. To Julie's family, may you find the strength you need to pull through this," said one post.

 "Heaven obviously needed an angel," said another.

 "Give your dad a hug and a kiss for us, babe. We love you and will always be thinking of you. Watch over us."



posted on 06/24/08
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