October 31, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
39°F

Kevin Fox, fourth teen killed in crash, laid to rest

MEDINA TWP. — Hundreds of family members, friends, teachers and teammates paid their final respects Saturday to Kevin Fox, 18, the last to be buried of four teens killed in a Columbia Station crash June 3.

During the service at Cornerstone Chapel, Sean Fox, Kevin’s brother, smiled when suggesting his brother had a leg up on the rugby field.

Brunswick High School students arrive for the funeral of Kevin Fox at Cornerstone Chapel in Medina on Saturday. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY STEVE MANHEIM)

“(Kevin’s) got me there. He was better,” Sean Fox said while reflecting on his brother’s life. Kevin was MVP of the inaugural season of the Brunswick High School rugby club team.

Kevin Fox’s sister, Colleen, said her brother was the athletic and outgoing one in the family, while she was more shy and quiet. She recalled always being puzzled because he enjoyed various genres of music, including rap and country.

“I’ll never figure out how you liked both, but that was just you,” Colleen Fox said. “… I loved our talks and texting on the phone, and you telling me to always drive safe.”

Kevin Fox was one of four Brunswick High School students who died from a fatal one-car crash June 3 on Boston Road in Columbia Station.

Funeral services and burial for Blake Bartchak, 17, and Jeffrey Chaya, 18, were held Thursday at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Brunswick. They were buried beside one another at Resurrection Cemetery in Liverpool Township.

Fox and Chaya would have graduated June 3, which was the day of the crash.

A funeral service for Lexi Poerner, 16, took place Friday, and she is also buried at Resurrection Cemetery. Poerner and Fox were dating and attended this year’s high school prom together.

Junior Julia Romito, 17, who was also in the car, was hospitalized at Southwest General Health Center and is recovering at home.

An uncle of Kevin Fox spoke at the funeral on behalf of the teen’s parents, Jim and Sherri Fox.

“He was the kind of kid who would jump over a fence to protect his brother, had concern for dad’s aching back and enjoyed paddle-boating with mom at Hinckley Park,” the uncle said.

Fox’s uncle expressed joy about the relationship between his nephew and Poerner.

“I’m happy they found each other,” he said. “They’re hand-in-hand in heaven.”

In addition to being a leader on his rugby team, Kevin Fox was also the squad’s high scorer with 11 tries, according to coach Brian Williams. The coach said he will always remember Kevin as a fellow “rugger.”

“He could really dominate and hit people. His 11 tries (or scores) were six more than any other player,” Williams said. “I only hope we can give half back what he gave us. Kevin, thanks for making us your family.”

Prior to the funeral service, teammate Sobhit Haribhakti, who graduated last week, called Fox a leader on the rugby field and an all-round “great player.”

Another teammate and senior, Corey Gut, said Kevin was someone whom he loved being around.

“He would say crazy things on the field with a false accent just to lighten the moment,” Gut said. “He was good-hearted.”

Brunswick junior Ryan O’Dell was also a friend and teammate of Fox on the rugby squad. O’Dell said Fox was the kind of player who would always stick up for teammates.

“He took his lumps. Our rugby family in general was real close and tight knit,” O’Dell said.

Officiating Saturday’s service was Pastor Jeff Kolodziej, who touched on Fox’s love of family and friends, rugby, jujitsu, ice hockey, the beach and Hawaii, in addition to “his girlfriend, Lexi.”

“This is Kevin’s graduation,” Kolodziej said.

Fox was buried at Eastlawn Memory Gardens in Brunswick.

Contact Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.