Hundreds of family members, friends and students attended funeral services for Neches High School junior Dylan Gregory Cagle Wednesday at the NHS gym — mourning the death and celebrating the life of one of three students tragically killed in a single-vehicle accident Friday.

Presenting the eulogy was Kevin Simmons, Cagle’s youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Neches, who shared with those in attendance about the teen’s conversion to Christianity.

“He began attending church with his grandparents,” Simmons recalled. “He sat at the back at first, but the more he attended the closer to the front of the church he would sit.

“One Wednesday in August of 2004 (Cagle) came to realize he was a sinner and Jesus came into his life.”

Simmons also fondly recalled the good times he spent with Cagle — playing pool, learning guitar and playing paintball.

“I had to learn to hide well because he always seemed to outsmart me with the paintball gun,” he said. “We had many talks about life around the pool table in the church’s youth room.

“I will never forget that laugh, that smile,” Simmons added. “I will especially never forget the moment he put his faith in Christ.”

The Rev. Charles Grasty, pastor of Neches’ First Baptist Church, presented a message of hope to attendees — of facts, feelings and the future.

“As we walked in today, we had death on our minds,” he began. “We are all grieving for this loss.

“Today Dylan is absent from the classroom, but he is present with the Lord,” Grasty said. “He is more alive today than he has ever been.”

The pastor continued his message by revealing the five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance — adding that Cagle’s future has only begun.

“There are many things that Dylan will not be able to do — get his high school diploma, go to college, get married,” Grasty said. “But I assure you, Dylan is not angry about it.

“I think if he were here he would tell us to be the best we can be, to give life our best and to keep our promises to those we love,” the pastor continued. “He would tell us that Christ has kept the promise He made, and that we need to make peace with God.

“In my heart, I see Dylan smiling right now.”

Cagle was pronounced dead at the scene of the one-vehicle rollover which occurred shortly after 6 p.m. Friday on FM 2267, approximately 1 mile east of the Texas 155 intersection in Pert.

A second Neches High School student — 17-year-old Dennis Hunt — died the following day at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler. Services for Hunt were held today at First Baptist Church of Neches.

Services for 16-year-old Jacob Kleshick, a third passenger in the accident, will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the Neches High School gym. Kleshick died Monday at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler

As of late Monday, Ashley Coon, 17, a senior at Neches High School, remained in “critical” condition at ETMC in Tyler.

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