Serving the High Plains

Rattler Gymnasium hosts funeral for THS teen

Hundreds gathered at Rattler Gymnasium on Saturday morning to pay their final respects to a Tucumcari teen who died last month.

Tucumcari High School freshman football player Javion Martinez, 15, died unexpectedly at home on Aug. 26, prompting Tucumcari Public Schools to cancel or postpone several sports events that week, including a football game against McCurdy on Sept. 1 that will not be rescheduled.

Javion's coffin was draped in a purple shroud that stated "Bleed Purple and Gold" - a salute to the school's team colors.

While "Same God" played over the public address system, dozens of Javion's friends and extended family filed into the gymnasium. Most wore white T-shirts that bore Javion's name, photo and the dates of birth and death.

The service included a lengthy slideshow of photographs of Javion.

Javion's aunt, Felicia Martinez, gave a few remarks and remembered him as "a busybody," a prankster and "a true friend and a loving big brother."

His mother Yvonne urged those who were in distress to "reach out and speak out" to her and her family.

His father, Tyler Davis, told mourners he would weave memories of Javion "in my heart so he will live forever."

The Rev. Dereck Owen of First Assembly of God church in Tucumcari gave the eulogy and paused at least twice to wipe his eyes.

"This is not the way we want to say goodbye," Owen said. "We must move to see the legacy that he left ... full of life. ... We were privileged to have our lives touched by him, even for a moment."

Owen asked the mourners to stand and say: "We stand with you; our hearts are with you. We will be there when you need us."

After the service, Javion was buried in Tucumcari Memorial Park cemetery just feet away from Jayden Gloms, a fellow THS football player who died in January in a vehicle accident at Five Mile Park.

A reception was held at the Quay County Fairgrounds after the burial.

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