Devon Dunkley was always there for his friends.
“He knew exactly how and when to show up for his friends, especially when they were struggling,” Abby Napora said during the eulogy for the 2016 Mount Sentinel grad, who was killed in a head-on collision near Nelson earlier this month.
“He was goofy and he would not let up until he made them smile and cheered them up. He was more than a friend to many; he was a brother.”
That was a sentiment repeated throughout Dunkley’s memorial, which was held at the Junction Covenant Church on Nov. 21.
During the ceremony stories were told about the soccer-playing, newspaper-delivering Dunkley, who “flirted with McDonald’s twice, and in both occasions quit the relationship” according to Napora. Mostly recently he’d worked at Canadian Tire and in construction as a carpenter.
Dunkley was 18 years old when his car collided with a truck on Highway 3A, closing the road for four hours while the scene was investigated. The loss has been keenly felt in the community, and a Gofundme page has been started for his parents Scott and Rhonda Martens.
So far the page has raised over $9,000.
One of Dunkley’s friends, Blair Coyle, wrote a dedication to his friend on Facebook. A group has been created to share pictures and memories.
“I loved you as a brother, and I thank God for all the time we got to share together. From the time when you were in kindergarten and I told on you for pushing someone, to all the times I came and picked you up late at night when you needed a shoulder to cry on,” he wrote.
“I have so many beautiful memories of you, man. We laughed together, we cried together. You were such a joy and such a good friend. I’ll never forget you.”
Mount Sentinel principal Glen Campbell said the tragedy has brought students closer during an already troubling year.
“The students are mourning the loss of a one of their classmates, and many of them were at the memorial. Once again this has really brought them together around a tragic incident.”