By JIM HARDIN
Several hundred people attended a celebration of life Saturday for a “young princess” — 16-year-old Alicia Chanta Moore.
“This is a homegoing celebration,” the Rev. Brian Keith Thomas said during opening remarks of Moore’s funeral at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Greenville. “We celebrate life. We’re going to celebrate the life of a young princess.”
Later during the service, Deanna Medlin read a poem that Moore’s grandmother asked her to write and then read during the service.
In part, the poem read:
“Alicia dreamed of being a princess,
That dream has now come true.
She sits with Jesus in heaven,
What else would a princess do?
We have been blessed to know this princess,
She now lives above,
With the king of glory,
In a mansion filled with love.”
Moore was last seen on the afternoon of Nov. 2 getting off a school bus at the intersection of Bourland and Walnut Streets, about a half-block from her Greenville home.
Her body was found on Nov. 6 off Farm to Market Road 47 in Van Zandt County.
The investigation into the Greenville High School student’s death and the hunt for a murder suspect continues.
During the “words of comfort” part of the program, a young man stepped to the microphone. Alicia, he said, was one of his best friends.
“She was the sweetest, happiest person that you would ever want to meet,” he said. “If you were having a bad day and she would come to you and smile, you couldn’t help but smile back at her. Every day she would say she loved me and it actually meant something.
“I know everyone is hurting here and we’re going to miss her. I’m just blessed and happy to be here. Alicia was so innocent and happy. All she wanted was love.”
He said some people talked about her “so mean.”
“I can’t understand that,” he said.
He said people talked about her “and a week later she was gone.”
“I wish I could have said this the last time I saw her: ‘I love you Alicia.’”
Two Greenville Independent School District employees — Ralph Sanders and Mike Nelson — were among the speakers during the two-hour service.
Sanders said GISD employees are determined to pray for the Moore family, love all children and remember Alicia.
“This should not have happened to anyone, let alone a teen-ager in the prime of her life,” Sanders said.
He said GISD employees will remember Alicia.
“How can we best do this?” he asked. “The best way is to strive to ensure that we step up our game for every child who needs us.”
Even though everyone is hurting over her death and many are angry, the best response is to “show respect and love for those who need us the most, this family. Respect them and respect Alicia.”
Nelson said he remembers Alicia as a student in the ACE program at Greenville High School.
He said she was quiet, low-key and never caused problems, expressed anger or was disrespectful.
He recalled a day when she did something unusual. She came into the classroom and approached him. She was concerned. She told him that “people are saying things about me. They’re using this Internet thing to make me feel bad.”
Nelson said he gave her several words of advice, including instructions to “rise above it.”
Later, when he asked how she was doing, she responded, “Fine.”
Nelson said he shared that information about Alicia because she “touched my heart.”
He said she would always say, “Please, thank you, may I, yes and no.”
“That impressed me,” he said.
The Rev. Roy L. Price delivered the “homegoing eulogy.”
Burial was in Grundy Memorial Park in Neylandville.