Tree ceremony remembers special Enterprise student

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 15, 2006

When Ollie and Kathy Magee buried their daughter Stephanie lastDecember, they were unaware of the impact she made in her 19 yearsof life.

Students and faculty at Enterprise Attendance Center honoredStephanie Magee, who died from complications of diabetes and heartproblems, during a tree-planting ceremony Friday at the school.

“When my wife called and told me about the ceremony, I justcried.” said Ollie Magee. “She had so many true friends. It means alot that she was well loved.”

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Stephanie, a special education student, impacted the lives ofpeople of all abilities. Her influence was seen through theparticipation of about 20 students who gathered at the memorialservice.

“It’s something special because they didn’t have to do this,”said Kathy Magee. “She really touched a lot of lives when she wasat Enterprise.”

Students and teachers planted a purple Japanese Magnolia tree infront of the school in memory of Stephanie.

“I’m going to miss Stephanie,” said junior Cassie May.

Teachers in the school’s Special Education Department believeStephanie touched others because she so cared for by herparents.

“Sometimes, children with limitations are thrown on the schoolsystems by their parents,” said teacher Lucy Watts. “But that’s notthe way Ollie and Kathy were. They are always around and were veryinvolved with the school.”

Watts said raising children with special needs is hard workrequiring love, determination and endurance.

“A road with a handicapped individual is very long,” Watts said.”My hat goes off to them for being great parents.”

“On her last day, she sung a song on the way home from thehospital and I had never heard her sing before. She had a prettyvoice,” Kathy Magee said. “Her last words were ‘Lord, here I am.I’m all yours.’ She didn’t suffer at all. She died the nextday.”

Ollie and Kathy Magee cherish their daughter’s senior yearbook,which is filled with signatures from their daughter’s classmates.They are greatly encouraged by the love and support her peersshowed.

Loved ones said Stephanie was inspirational and caring.

“She taught us a lot,” Watts said. “She was a reminder that weshould live every day to the fullest.”