Marcus Larson/News-Register##Mourners place flowers on the casket of Jake Coshow-Wright near the end of the graveside ceremony in his honor Saturday afternoon.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Mourners place flowers on the casket of Jake Coshow-Wright near the end of the graveside ceremony in his honor Saturday afternoon.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Tributes to both Jake Coshow-Wright and Shantel
Fugere appear on cars at the graveside service for Coshow-Wright. Both he and Fugere also were honored at a joint celebration of life Saturday morning.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Tributes to both Jake Coshow-Wright and Shantel Fugere appear on cars at the graveside service for Coshow-Wright. Both he and Fugere also were honored at a joint celebration of life Saturday morning.
By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Community remembers crash victims

The two Yamhill-Carlton High School graduates, both 20, died when their car was broadsided by an SUV Wednesday, July 8. Coshow-Wright was at the wheel of his beloved Mazda Miata and Fugere was accompanying him during a home leave from the Navy.

Pastor Mike Sayler, who officiated at the joint service, termed them “vibrant young people whose lives ended in an untimely manner.”

Their extended families were joined by more than 300 members of the community at Yamhill-Carlton Elementary School for Saturday’s celebration of their lives. Large bouquets of sunflowers and red gladioli, and red, white and blue arrangements decorated the podium, along with numerous photos of both young people.

“I can only imagine what it will be like when I walk by your side,” a duo sang, the song’s lyrics describing the joyful meeting awaiting Christians in Heaven.

“Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel?” the song goes. “Will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of you be still? I can only imagine.”

Later, dozens of mourners circled the school track as one last tribute to a young man and woman taken too soon.

During the service, friends and family members spoke about the special people they knew as “Jake” and “Shanny.”

Coshow-Wright was “an amazing boy turning out to be an incredible man,” said Teera West, a longtime friend.

She noted his kindness and intelligence, his willingness to work hard and help others, his sense of responsibility and his desire to have fun. He enjoyed the outdoors and spent many hours hiking or driving in nature.

Another speaker mentioned his skill with technology, which extended to figuring out how to control his family’s home electronics with his iPhone.

They said he loved cars, drift racing, working on his friend Max’s BMW, and heading up into the hills with a GoPro camera to film himself at the wheel. He dreamed of visiting Germany someday to drive on a legendary track there.

“For us, Jake will always be young and vibrant,” said Barbara Curtis, child and youth minister at the McMinnville First Baptist Church. “I can’t help but wonder if that’s how he’d like to be remembered, driving his car, sitting beside Shanny.”

Fugere was remembered by two Yamhill-Carlton School District teachers, Mark and Renee McKinney. She worked hard and showed outstanding character, they said. “She was kind to all,” they noted.

Older sister Crystal called Fugere the family’s “shining beacon, a 5-foot-2 spitfire,” who was both tough and sweet.

She achieved every goal she ever set, her sister said. “She made us better, faster, stronger, all while making us laugh.”

Commander Tracy Hines of Naval and Computer Telecommunication Station San Diego recounted her role as Information Systems Tech Petty Officer 3rd Class Fugere.

The 2013 Y-C High grad chose information technology as her specialty after finishing boot camp, Hines said.

“We were fortunate to receive her,” the commander said, remembering Fugere’s arrival in San Diego in April 2014.

Fugere was one of the technicians assigned to a department responsible for voice and data connectivity for military customers west of the Mississippi and for national nuclear command and control, Hines said.

“A very, very critical job,” she said, as Fugere and her coworkers “watch over the nation 24/7.”

The commander said Fugere stood out because of her “infectious smile and positive attitude,” as well as her skills and talents. She served her country honorably, she said. She was on the fast track to supervisory qualifications.

“Petty Officer Fugere stood the watch,” Hines said. “She will be missed. Her legacy will live on and we will never forget. We have the watch.”

A Navy honor guard offered a 21-gun salute in her honor. “Taps” played, the notes of the song punctuated with sobs and sniffles from the crowd.

Then sailors ceremonially folded the American flag and presented it to her parents with a sharp salute.

Saturday afternoon, many of the same mourners joined Coshow-Wright’s family for a service at Evergreen Memorial Park.

A hearse carrying his casket led a slow procession to the cemetery. The long line of cars included several with tributes to Wright and Fugere printed on the windows

Curtis, the youth minister, also spoke at the graveside service.

“In the face of this inexplicable loss,” she said, the community needs to stand together and support Wright and Fugere’s families. “You’ll get through this,” she told the families, “and we’ll do it together.”

Curtis said the grief felt by the families and community over losing Coshow-Wright and Fugere demonstrates how much they were loved. “I don’t think one of us would trade knowing Jake or Shanny for not feeling this grief.”

Honor them by showing your love for others, she said.

“Love like Jake loved that car,” she said. “Love, just love.”

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