Hundreds of people paid their respects to the family of Kyle Lynam during a viewing for the North Harford High School student at E.G. Kurtz & Son Funeral Home in Jarrettsville Saturday afternoon.
An estimated 200 to 300 people had visited as of the halfway point of the afternoon session, according to Gladden Kurtz, co-owner of the funeral home along Baldwin Mill Road. A second viewing was held from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and the funeral was at 11 a.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
Kyle, a 16-year-old sophomore at North Harford, died early the morning of Oct. 9 after being hit by a Chevy Tahoe while running to catch his school bus on Norrisville Road in White Hall. He died later at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air. The driver of the Tahoe does not face any charges, police said.
During the viewing, people visited with Kyle’s family inside the funeral home or they gathered outside in the parking lot to talk and comfort each other.
Wade Lemasters, a resident of the Armistead Gardens community in southeast Baltimore, said Kyle had grown up in the neighborhood, and he had seen him this past summer when Kyle came back to visit family members who still live in the area.
Kyle lived with his mother and aunt and uncle in White Hall so he could attend North Harford High.
Lemasters said Saturday he has known generations of Kyle’s family, including his mother, grandfather and great-grandparents.
“He was a very good kid, very loved and [will be] very missed,” Lemasters said.
Many other people in the funeral home parking lot declined to talk.
Some young people were wearing large sunflower lapel pins or sunflower-patterned ties.
Kyle lived about 4 miles from where sunflowers, planted by the operators of Clear Meadow Farm, in a field off of Route 23 near the intersection with Route 165.
‘Rough for all of us’
Harford County Councilman Chad Shrodes, who represents northern Harford County, gave an emotional tribute to the teen during the council’s legislative session Tuesday evening.
Shrodes, who lives in Norrisville, said he first learned about the accident through a call from the school system that several bus routes in the area would be delayed.
He received an email later that morning from Norrisville United Methodist Church, which he attends, about the need for prayers for Kyle and his family. The teen was pronounced dead around 10:30 a.m. at the hospital, according to police.
Shrodes learned Kyle had been among the Boy Scouts from Troop 809 in Jarrettsville who had been selling pit beef to visitors at the sunflower field a few days earlier.
The Scouts were at the field the evening of Friday, Oct. 5, according to a post on the Sunflowers in Jarrettsville Facebook page. The troop was volunteering at the field along with members of Shrodes’ church, he said.
Shrodes said he also learned Tuesday that Kyle and Shrodes’ nephew, Patrick, were in a class together at North Harford.
“It just really hit home in our close community [Tuesday] morning, and this is a boy that was volunteering just last week right alongside people I knew,” Shrodes said.
“It’s going to be rough for all of us to lose a young person in our community that many of us know,” he added.
The Kyle Lynam Memorial Fund page has been established online via GoFundMe to raise money to help Kyle’s family with funeral expenses.
A community fundraiser is also scheduled for Oct. 23, hosted jointly by the operators of the sunflower field and the nearby Jarrettsville Creamery & Deli.
People can visit the sunflower field at 3767 Norrisville Road from 4 p.m. to dusk, or they can visit the Jarrettsville Creamery & Deli at 1747 West Jarrettsville Road from 4 to 9 p.m. Organizers plan to donate 100 percent of sales of items at the sunflower field and 10 percent of sales at the restaurant to the Lynam family.
Visit the Sunflowers in Jarrettsville or the Jarrettsville Creamery & Deli Facebook pages for more information.