In song, prayer and anecdotes, relatives and friends said good-bye Thursday to 17-year-old Marley Lion.
St. James Episcopal Church on James Island was filled with 700 people, some of whom stood against the walls for the 2 p.m. service. A Christian folk/rock band performed and led those attending in song, and pastors of two churches recalled the murder victim’s volunteer services and his positive outlook on life.
Lion was shot multiple times early Saturday in a sport utility vehicle he had parked off Savannah Highway. Before dying, Lion told police he parked to sleep because he’d had too much to drink and was unable to drive home.
At the memorial, reverends Arthur Jenkins and John Paul Brown reminisced about Lion’s life was celebrated with stories of how he’d volunteered to be an acolyte and performed voluntary labor for churches, and how he grew tall and handsome and was described as a “young JFK.”
Laughter filled the room on several occasions as events were described surrounding the recent graduate of Academic Magnet High School.
But in a very serious moment, the many young people at the service were reminded that their parents have valid reasons for wanting to know what their children are up to.
“Because of June 16, you will never be able to look at life the same way again,” Rev. Jenkins, rector of St. James Episcopal, said. “When your parents want to check on you and you don’t want them to know where you are, it’s called caring,” he explained.
Savannah Smith of James Island, who went to middle school with Lion, said the service was beautiful.
“I think it was what Marley would have wanted it to be,” Smith said. “It was uplifting and positive and that’s what he would have wanted.”