LOCK HAVEN - Hundreds of Central Mountain High School students turned out Friday night to console each other and remember one of their own, Bobby Wise.
A senior at Central Mountain scheduled to graduate next Wednesday, Wise died Friday afternoon at Hershey Medical Center of an apparent drug overdose.
Wise, 18, was a member of the high school track team and a student involved in the health occupation curriculum. He told his classmates he wanted to be a general practitioner.
Central Mountain High school students held candles during a memorial service last night for Bobby Wise.
Students sat on the grass and talked about Bobby, remembering him as full of fun, always laughing and joking around and talking about his dog ... and his little sister Grace.
The young people barely spoke, but rather found comfort in just being with each other as they mourned the loss of a dear friend.
Also in the crowd were family members and friends, teachers and other high school staff, members of the Brewery Hollow Outsiders and people from the community who just wanted to share their sympathy.
Track coaches Mark Riley and Don Mansfield had some consoling but strong words for the students, who stood in huddled masses, some with lighted candles, many with tears streaming down their faces.
"Please learn from his death, but celebrate how he touched your life," Mansfield said. "The Lord gives us free will to make decisions... good and bad. No matter which you choose, it affects the life of somebody. Use Bobby's death as a learning experience and evaluate the consequences that affect so many lives."
Riley put on his pastor's cap as he spoke.
"This is a sad day," he said, recalling a similar tragedy in his life when he was a teenager and a classmate died tragically.
"The decision you make now will affect you for generations. Remember decisions have consequences. Here are a couple of lessons I learned. First, nothing good happens after midnight away from home. Second, when you make choices, usually the popular decision is the wrong decision," he said.
He told the students to "celebrate life and make the most of every day. Remember Bobby as the fun-loving kid who pulled up his shirt one day and asked if anyone had a belly button like his."
In conclusion, he led the gathering in prayer. "God in heaven... these young people have lost someone they love. It's not the end of life, but a learning experience. Give them a sense of comfort knowing they have each other. We know you do care when your creation hurts ... and we hurt tonight."