WEST MADISON — Students at one Boone County high school are mourning the loss of a classmate. The 15-year-old died suddenly Sunday night, Dec. 8th.
Parker Graffius was a good student, star soccer player, and well-loved classmate at Scott High School in Madison. He died Sunday night in his sleep, and the cause of his death is a mystery, which is making it tough for his community to understand what’s happened. Nonetheless, they’re coming together to lean on each other during this difficult time.
“It’s crazy. We’re still in shock,” said Octavia Smoot, Parker Graffius’ friend.
Students and staff at Scott High in Boone County are devastated at the sudden loss of a 15-year-old sophomore, Parker Graffius, who died Sunday, possibly from an undiagnosed medical condition.
And that’s what makes this so tough for everyone to grasp — how a healthy teen soccer player’s life could end so suddenly.
“There were no risk factors. He didn’t live on the edge. He wasn’t a troublemaker. He didn’t do mischievious things more than any other teenage boy would. So that’s the worst part — how to wrap your head around what’s happened here,” said Rodney Miller, Scott High School assistant soccer coach.
But the mystery of why Graffius died, is all the more reason this community is pulling together to support each other.
“When stuff like this happens, we come together. We’re Scott. We’re family,” Smoot said.
More than a hundred people gathered at Scott High Monday night to remember Graffius with prayer, candlelight and song. His sister was thankful for the strong showing of support.
“Parker loved all of you and he would appreciate everyone coming out,” said Samantha Graffius.
It’s clear the teenager made a big impact on many students and teammates, like life-long friend Michael Miller.
“He was one of the best kids I knew. He always had something positive to stay, even in negative situations. He always tried to make other people happy before himself, and he really tried to bring his friends together whenever he could, and as you can tell—the people around him really loved him too,” Miller said.
So Scott High teens are learning a hard, but valuable lesson on fully appreciating the people around them.
Another blessing—remembering Parker Graffius’ warmth and infectious smile won’t be hard to do. He enjoyed documenting his life on video, and those images will certainly help keep his memory alive.
Grief counselors are available to students at Scott High School. No word on if an autopsy will be done to determine how Graffius died. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Robert “Parker” Graffius, 15, born April 8, 1998, son of Robert Russell III and Regina Orosz Graffius went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, December 8, 2013.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Robert Russell, Jr. and Margaret Graffius; his WV grandmother, Gloria “Sue” Barnhart; and cousin, Jordann Rose Orosz.
In addition to his parents Parker is survived by his brother, Joshua (Erica) and nephew Elijah Graffius; sisters, Heather Nicole and Samantha Joan Graffius; maternal grandparents, Joseph and Joan Orosz; WV grandfather, Mike Barnhart; and WV grandmother, Escaleene Moore. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins: Pam (Greg) and children, Christoper (Teresa) Kelly and Mark, Chelle (Butch) Vardian and children Adanna, Alyssa (Jackson) West and Zach (Kathy), Joe (Donna) Orosz and children, Julia and Briella and Joey, Bill (Annette) Orosz and children, Justine (David) Cranmer and Jayden, Makenzi, Michael and Brittany, Judy (Joe) Mangiafico and children, Ann and Ava and Sara,David (Ginny) Orosz and children, Ty, Kallie and Jonah.
Parker was a sophomore at Scott High School, Madison. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 289, a Life Scout and member of the Order of the Arrow. He was also a member of the first organized Soccer Team of Scott High School. He loved water skiing, snow skiing and cycling.
Friends will be received from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, December 13 at Handley Funeral Home, Danville.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 14, 2013 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Madison with Fr. Neil R. Buchlein officiating. Burial will follow in Boone Memorial Park, Madison.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to be sent in memory of Robert “Parker” Graffius to: Scott High School Soccer Program, Scott High School #1 Skyhawk Place, Madison, WV 25130; Boy Scout Troop 289, c/o Joe Linville, 2128 Long Branch Road, Danville, WV 25053; or St. Mary’s Catholic Church, P.O. Box 467 Madison, WV, 25130.
You may express your condolences to the family at www.handleyfh.com.