HEBRON – The Lakewood High School auditorium had countless visitors Tuesday morning and afternoon as hundreds of family, friends, and community members honored and celebrated the life of 16-year-old Jenae’ McNichols, who passed away May 31 from injuries sustained from a single-car crash Memorial Day afternoon on Hirst Road. She was wearing a seat belt and was not using her cell phone at the time of the accident.
“We were happy we could help the family in any way we could,” said Lakewood Superintendent Jay Gault, who said the McNichols family asked to have the memorial service in the auditorium.
Monday evening, friends and family held a candlelight service in Hebron’s Canal Park. “Her family is an amazing family,” said Hebron Mayor Clifford L. Mason. “They are a strong family. Thank you for your love and support for their family.”
“She had a passion for life,” her older sister Jana said. “She will be with you. She will live in your hearts.”
Her father, Thomas, said her kidneys and liver have been transplanted. Her corneas are available and tissue donations could help up to 50 people. “Janae’ will live on,” he said.
Earlier, the McNichols family issued the following statement, “The family of Jenae’ McNichols would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, expressions of love, and support you all have shared since Jenae’s accident. Unfortunately, the injuries she sustained have proven too difficult for the medical staff to correct. We have decided to honor Jenae’s wishes and donate her organs to others in need, Jenae’ will live on for many years in others. We sincerely hope you will continue to pray for our family and for the families of those who need love at this time. The family respectfully request that you also consider their feelings right now, we want and need your prayers but we need a little space to process this situation.”
Jenae’ was cur rently a sophomore at Lakewood High School and was active in drama, band/drumline, student council, Lu nch Budd ies, Nat ional Honor Society and choir. She gave up her study hall to be an office worker. She was also a dance assistant with Garrett Dance Arts Studio as well as a competition dancer. She won many awards with dance, most recently a scholarship to a Jazz Intensive in New Orleans and she was an active Jr. Member of Ohio Dance Masters. Jenae’ was a student who truly excelled as this coming school year, her junior year, she was given the honor to be the varsity captain for the cheerleading squad and was accepted as a Post Secondary Option Student. Jenae’ was also a member of Hebron Christian Church, where she was active in the youth group and served as secretary.
Jenea’s passion for life and art was illustrated in a message that friends had placed along the Lakewood Schools fence line that simply said, “Dance in heaven, Jenae’.”