Hundreds gather to remember Lexington teen killed on his way to school

ccope@thestate.comDecember 10, 2013 

— Tears flowed Tuesday afternoon at the funeral of Brandon Mayo, the 15-year-old White Knoll High School student who was killed in a collision Friday while driving to school.

But if Brandon had been at Tuesday’s service, his father, Travis Mayo, said he would have wiped away those tears and kissed everyone on the cheek.

"Brandon loved giving kisses on the cheek," he said.

In fact, a portrait of the teenager blowing a kiss was displayed at the front of St. David Lutheran Church in West Columbia, where the service was held.

The church was packed with hundreds of mourners, many of them White Knoll High classmates, to remember the outgoing straight-A student. Many family members wore one of Brandon’s favorite colors, burnt orange, for the Texas Longhorns.

Previous coverage: Family remembers student killed as bond set on DUI charge.

Travis Mayo asked everyone to close their eyes and think of their fondest moment with Brandon and memorize it.

That’s how Brandon would be kept in their memory.

He thanked everyone for their support and prayers during the difficult days since Brandon was killed. A 60-year-old man faces felony DUI charges in connection with the accident.

“We have experienced a roller-coaster of emotions,” Travis Mayo said.

The Rev. James Laurence, who led the service, compared Brandon’s passing to the death of the biblical figure Lazarus, who had two sisters, just like Brandon.

Laurence said the sisters of Lazarus questioned Jesus and asked why their brother had died.

“Why did Brandon have to die?” Laurence added as well, noting it was a question that only Jesus can answer.

Blue was another one of Brandon’s favorite colors, Laurence said, and it’s the color of the season of Advent now upon us – a time of waiting and hope that Jesus will come again.

The color also can serve as a hope and promise of reuniting with Brandon, who Laurence said “packed a lifetime of memories in less than 16 years.”

His father said Brandon is now a part of an “army of angels.”

Travis Mayo ended his remarks by repeating a quote that Brandon had once shared.

“One day your life will flash before your eyes,” he said, “make sure it’s worth watching.”

Reach Cope at 803-771-8657 or on Twitter @cassielcope.

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