Family members, friends and classmates spent Thursday remembering, rejoicing and reflecting on the life of Shawn Q. Charles, a of .
On July 23, Charles he suffered when the jacks holding up a car that he was working on gave way causing the car to fall on top of the popular teenager.
"We are here to remember a life that touched many," said Pastor Scott Solberg during the funeral service at the Wetherfield Evangelical Free Church Thursday morning. He added that the family has been "overwhelmed by the out pouring of love" by the Rocky Hill community, which included a .
Cars as well as skateboarding at , playing video games with friends and flirting with girls were some of the teenager's favorite hobbies.
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"Shawn had a passion for cars and was always doing something with his cars," said Claudette Leslie, his aunt.
She explained to the audience that the day before the fatal accident, Charles had taken the car to mechanic where it was fixed.
"Only Shawn can tell us why he needed to be under the car on Sunday," Leslie said.
She said everyone in the packed Wetherfield Evangelical Free Church had "been touched" by her nephew in some way.
"His friends were everything to him," she said.
High school principal Mario Almeida met with Charles's mother and aunts following his death. He said they asked him what about the teenager made him stand out amongst his peers and Almeida answered "cross appeal."
"Cross appeal meant that he had friends everywhere," he said. Almeida added that Charles's friends were of every race, gender, age and social standing.
"If you knew Shawn, you were a friend of Shawn's for a long time," he said.
Many of the speakers commented on Charles's contagious smile and his "down to earth" personality as well as his ability to "negotiate."
"He love discussing the finer points of cell phone and tardiness policies and how they were so harsh," Almeida said. However, even if he did not get his way, many of the speakers said Charles always remained respectful.
Charles's uncle, Franklin Sanders, told the audience that his nephew possessed one important skill, "love and respect."
"He loved and respected everyone no matter who they were," he said. "I will tell you that his love for his friends was so great that he would push his boundaries at home. But, he maintained a certain respect for the laws of his parents."
Sanders said he always felt that Charles respected him as well.
"I never felt like I was his mother's sister's husband around him," he said.
During the ceremony, Charles's cousins Petra Charles sang "No More Night," Michael Waisome read an original poem and Daryl Oliver, who got visually emotional during the song, performed "He Looked Beyond my Faults."
Following the service, Charles's body would be buried at the in Rocky Hill.
Shawn Charles is survived by his parents Anthony Charles of Windsor and Dawn Charles of Rocky Hill as well as two aunts, several cousins and many friends. Shawn was the youngest child of Anthony and Dawn.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can visit any Webster Bank branch. Checks made out to "Shawn Charles Memorial Account" can also be mailed to: Webster Bank, 377 Cromwell Ave, Rocky Hill CT 06067. The donations are expected to be used to help cover the funeral expenses.