Halley Jacobs remembered as a creative individualist
Several hundred family and friends of Halley Canyon Rose Jacobs gathered Tuesday evening at the Aspen School District Theater to memorialize the life of the 13-year-old local girl who died Saturday of health complications resulting from a December 1998 auto accident.
Halley’s family, teachers and peers remembered her as a creative and inventive individualist, who loved acting and singing and horseback riding. Halley would have been a freshman at Aspen High School this fall.
“Halley was unique,” eulogized Roy Redmond, Halley’s uncle. “Halley was like taking a 7-Up and pouring it into a glass as fast as you could. The froth that spilled over, that was her love and joy.”
Seven of Halley’s close friends sang “Castle in a Cloud” for her at the opening of the service.
“One of the things Halley really liked to do was sing, and she taught us this song,” one of the girls said. However, their rendition was slightly different from what their dear friend had taught them, as several references to Halley were inserted within.
Maddy Overton, one of the singers, also read a poem, entitled “The Voices of Halley,” which she wrote for Halley following the accident.
“It took me about six months to realize that my friends weren’t playing a prank on me, this was real and you can’t go back,” she said in part.
Rabbi Gideon Kaufman, who presided over the memorial service, observed that Halley’s “family and friends have been so enriched by her companionship. She touched us all.”
“Whenever someone Halley’s age dies, it’s a tragedy, it’s a life cut short. But she reminds us to enjoy and appreciate life. She can have a lasting spiritual impact on us, if the lessons of her life are not forgotten … We will each be Halley’s legacy, and what a remarkable legacy that will be,” Kaufman said.
Cathy Crum, a drama teacher who worked with Halley on several productions, most of which featured Halley in a leading role, spoke of Halley in a individualistic yet selfless light.
“Isn’t it great that we can celebrate Halley’s life in the theater, where Halley was most comfortable and happy,” she began.
Crum continued, saying Halley approached every production with an attitude of, “What can I learn here? How can I help?”
Halley’s mother, Sunny Redmond, thanked everyone who supported her family, as well as those souls she doesn’t know who prayed for her daughter.
“All the people who prayed all those months, even though she’s gone, the prayers helped,” she said.
“One never knows the challenges they’ll face in a lifetime,” Redmond continued. “Halley is the bravest person I’ve known … She didn’t give up, it was just too much. Sometimes life gives you a challenge that is bigger than one person can handle.”
“Halley taught us all something,” Redmond said. “She taught us the preciousness of life. Perhaps she can be a teacher to us all when we face something greater than we think we can handle.”
Halley was hit by a car on the Holland Hills section of Highway 82 on Dec. 10, as she and friends attempted to cross the road to get to a bus stop. The accident caused her to slip into a coma. She came out of the coma and made great strides toward recovery, until recently, when her condition declined.
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International visitors have traditionally accounted for 10 to 20 percent of Aspen Skiing Co.’s skier visits in recent past seasons. Travel fears and restrictions tied to the coronavirus are expected to wipe out most of that market for 2020-21.