Teen remembered by friends and family
August 24, 2006
A single red balloon floated high in the sky as Keith Stewart’s father, Lance Skupen, approached his dead son’s surfboard, set up as a makeshift table at a memorial service Wednesday.
“He turned out a pretty good kid,” said Skupen, who was accompanied on the stage by Stewart’s mother, Christine Stewart.
She held Keith Stewart’s newborn nephew, Keith Paye Stewart II, close to her.
Keith Stewart, 19, died last Wednesday night in a hit-and-run at Truckee River Regional Park. The 18-year-old driver, Scott Lindner, of Ross, Calif., was booked into the Truckee jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run, before posting bail on Aug. 17.
“I don’t want any violence out of this,” Stewart’s mother said at the outdoor memorial held at Skupen’s home. “I don’t want kids to go out there and take vengeance.”
Keith’s brother, Paul Stewart, 18, hugged each one of his brother’s friends as they left the stage.
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“I’m so thankful for the support,” Paul Stewart said. “[Keith] had the most beautiful smile.”
Paul Stewart received cheers and applause from the 100 or so people in attendance when he introduced his new baby boy, born just days after his brother died and named after Keith.
Many friends shared stories and conversations they had recently with the Truckee-born teen, talking about Keith Stewart’s outgoing personality at school and his bright smile.
John Clifton, 18, got a tattoo with Stewart’s initials on his leg on Tuesday in memory of his friend, he said.
Other friends and people from the town spoke about sticking together as a community to overcome Stewart’s death.
– The Wellspring Counseling Center is offering grief and trauma support services for those affected by Keith Stewart’s death.
– For appointments call the office at 582-4616 Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon and Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Wellspring Counseling Center is located at 10977 Spring Ln. behind Tahoe Forest Hospital.