Memorial service held for Cove teen
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Snowflakes, Jeeps, and selflessness were the themes of a memorial service held on Saturday afternoon for 16-year-old Savannah Lewis, the Copperas Cove teen who passed away on January 2 after a battle with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare childhood bone cancer.
Approximately 150 attended the service, conducted by Pastor Amanda Sudbury of Clarksville, Tenn. Sudbury was Lewis’ Sunday School teacher when the family lived in Tennessee and the two had kept in touch after the Lewis family moved to Texas. Sudbury, also Lewis’ camp counselor, puppet team director, and friend, shared about the impact the teen had on both her and those around her.
“Her strength and love for life impacted me before she was diagnosed with cancer,” said Sudbury. “I got to know Savannah in a way that allows me to confidently say she knew Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior, and she desired to live a life that reflected Him.”
Sudbury said Lewis had a way of pulling the others in their class together and getting them to open up, and then as they opened up, she offered them encouragement and support.
“She had this wisdom that obviously came from God,” Sudbury said. “One thing I remember is her smile and how she always made us laugh.”
Sudbury said Lewis set an example of selfless love and devotion, and that her last wishes were also simple and selfless.
“She wanted the house decorated, something others could enjoy with her. She wanted snow, something others could enjoy with her. She wanted to see Christmas, something others could enjoy with her. She wanted to see New Year’s...and then on January 2nd, God sent down this real snow, just for Savannah.”
Also during the service, Jen Reynolds read a blog post she composed called “The Miracle of Savannah” and Julie Moser read the poem “God’s Garden.”
The front of the church was decorated with photos and mementos that belonged to Savannah, with a table covered with a blue cloth embroidered with the familiar slogan “Savannah Strong.”
Lewis was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in the fall of 2016, and shortly after Thanksgiving 2017 when she returned home to hospice care, she was determined to see Christmas Day and beyond.
Community volunteers rallied to fulfill one of Savannah’s final wishes – to have her house decorated for Christmas. The word began to spread about Savannah and then several hundred “Jeepers” converged on Copperas Cove for a Jeep parade that ultimately passed by Lewis’ home on Scott Drive.
Hundreds of handmade snowflakes from around the country and the world arrived at the Lewis home from well-wishers, and some of those snowflakes were arranged on a table in the foyer at Christian House of Prayer, for all who attended to take one home as a memento.
Several Jeep clubs attended the service, arriving at the Christian House of Prayer in a convoy of Jeeps before they parked in front of the church, with members wearing their shirts in support of Savannah.