November 29, 2020

The Heard Citizen’s Most Inspirational Person of 2015

Lillian Evelyn Scott

Lillian Evelyn Scott

(Franklin, GA) — We have covered many tragic events at The Heard Citizen, but none compares to the loss of Ms. Lilly Scott, Heard County High School’s senior Marching Brave drum major.

Lilly passed away on October 18, 2015 from injuries she suffered in a horrible car accident on October 12 near Franklin.

No event we have covered has rocked the community to its core in quite the same way as the loss of Lilly.

However, it was also in the wake of Lilly’s accident and subsequent passing that one of the most inspiring stories of 2015 evolved. After her death, an outpouring of encouragement flowed in not just locally but from around the world for Lilly’s family, friends, and especially her fellow marching band members.

The support from the Heard County Brave Nation was most evident on “Play4Lilly” Night at Heard High School on October 16 when Lilly was still fighting for her life in intensive care.

The marching band members were given the chance to take that Friday night football game off as the Braves hosted Manchester High School, but the band kids were determined to perform because they believed in their hearts it is what Lilly would have wanted.

Lilly’s sweet and innocent spirit was certainly in the air when the Marching Braves entered Staples Stadium flanked by the football team on each side with helmets held high in the air. The full stadium was eerily quiet in that moment — even the little ones playing on the north side of the field, a constant noisy presence at the stadium since the 1970’s — even these little kids seemed to ‘just know’ something was different about that night as they stood stoic and silent.

All in attendance were amazed when that one blue balloon just hovered around the drum major podium during the emotional halftime show when it seemed not a single person on either side of the field left their seat.

After her death that Sunday night, Lilly’s funeral at Glenloch Church the following Wednesday was one of the most attended in county history as people from all walks came together to celebrate her life.

Heard High Principal Rodney Kay spoke very highly of Lilly during the service and how much she meant to HCHS. He touched on her significant list of academic and extra-curricular accomplishments as a student, her leadership, her perfectionism, and her desire to make others around her better.

“We hear these accolades tossed around when many students are being described so what made Lilly so different?,” asked Mr. Kay at the funeral.

“Why such an outpouring of love, why such an outpouring of support? What made this young woman so different?… The difference was her ability to love. You see, when you take the gifts and abilities that have been given to you by God… in Lilly’s case we are talking about musical talent, intellect, and a personal drive to be great… when you take those abilities and use them for the betterment of others, when you put others before yourself, something special happens… People are drawn to that, people respect that, people want to be around that,” said Mr. Kay.

“But is it intellect alone? No there are many people with that. Musical talents? Yes it had to be her musical talents right? No there are many people who have those talents. Desire and drive?… Wanting to be perfect in all that you do?…  No, I will tell you folks many people have that same drive and desire. The difference we are searching for?… What made Lilly so special?…  The answer is LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!,” Mr. Kay exclaimed.

According to Glenloch Pastor Neil Awbrey, Lilly’s service was unlike any other he had experienced before.

“One of the greatest blessings our church had in 2015 was being able to host the funeral service for Lilly. I cannot remember a service quite like this in all my 20+ years of ministry,” says Pastor Awbrey. “The amazing outpouring of community support and attendance at the service; the entire Marching Braves band playing Journey’s ‘Open Arms’ in our choir loft with such perfection; Mr. Kay speaking so passionately; and her guitar teacher playing Lilly’s  ‘Free Bird’ solo with the band — it was a very powerful and moving moment for all of us.”

Glenloch Church’s relationship with Lilly and her family actually began years ago when Lilly played in the first Upward Soccer League at the church. She not only played soccer there as a child, she volunteered as a referee later on when she became a teenager.

Pastor Awbrey and Lilly’s parents hoped to use Lilly’s funeral service as a way to reach out to other young people.

“Lilly’s life had such an impact on her family, friends, and the community that her father Jeremy and mother Christine desired for the greatest possible good to result from the life she had lived – so Jeremy and I together planned a way to present the Good News of Jesus at her service in a special, intentional way. We even passed out blue (Lilly’s color) response cards as people entered the service,” said Pastor Awbrey.

“On October 3, 2009 Lilly was baptized as a way of professing her faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior. During her funeral service, I explained the hope and significance of this eternal decision she had made, and encouraged others to likewise make this life-changing decision to believe in Jesus and testify to this new faith through Baptism,” continued Pastor Awbrey. “Many people responded to this invitation . . . and on the following Sunday, with Lilly’s family in attendance, five young people including Lilly’s boyfriend Coby and her younger sister Piper were baptized during our morning service.”

According to Pastor Awbrey that service was also one of the most important church services he has been a part of during his lifetime.

“It was probably the most meaningful morning service we had all year, and it was something that God did completely unplanned and unexpected by us,” says Pastor Awbrey. “God really does work all things, even tragic events, together for good for those who love Him and are called for His purpose. Lilly’s life was short but beautiful, inspiring, and eternally impactful. I was blessed to be a part of the service to celebrate her life and the baptisms which followed . . . only in the age to come will we know the full impact of her legacy. She will continue to make a difference in the lives of all of us who knew her.”

Heaven Jackson and Lilly Scott

Heaven Jackson and Lilly Scott

One of the students that participated in that Sunday’s Baptism was Lilly’s friend and fellow band member, Heaven Jackson. She spoke this week about just what that moment personally meant to her.

“It’s no secret that Lilly was one of my closest friends. She made a huge impact on my life in the time I knew her. Her accident inspired me to make a decision to accept Jesus as my savior, that is why I chose to be Baptized that Sunday following her death,” said Jackson.

“I had been an agnostic-atheist for at least eight years, but losing her led me to accepting him in my heart. I had my own reason for making the decision, but the promise of seeing Lilly again one day along with knowing in my heart she was in a paradise of sorts pushed me over the edge and led me to my decision. Lilly was a vibrant soul and I was not the only one to be so greatly impacted by her, but she inspired me and many others to strive to be a better person to everyone.”

Even up until today, young people continue to remember and eulogize Lilly via social media and other outlets. One of the most touching and passionate thoughts came from Lilly’s boyfriend and fellow band member Coby Boothe one month after her passing.

“The happiness I felt when I was with you was the greatest happiness I have ever felt, and it may be the greatest in my entire life. Whichever it may be, I’m glad it was with you. Because you, Lillian Evelyn Scott, could not have been any more perfect if you would have tried. You loved, unconditionally. Your love seemed limitless. I’m sure it was,” said Boothe in the Facebook post.

“I’m rambling on. But Lillian Evelyn. I love you. I have since day one. My love for you will continue on past my last breath. When I told you I would love you forever, and always … Throughout anything that happens — I meant it. Not many people can say they got the chance to experience their first love so soon but I can. And Lilly, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be with anyone other than you. I love you, oh so very much. And I miss you. More and more every passing day.”

When it comes to measuring this young lady’s true impact on the local community, perhaps Principal Kay worded it best during his speech at her funeral service as he correlated Lilly’s life with the Bible scripture 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:

“Lilly was patient, Lilly was kind. Lilly did not envy, she did not boast, she was not proud. She did not dishonor others, she was not self-seeking, she was not easily angered, she kept no record of wrongs. She did not delight in evil but rejoiced with the truth. She always protected, always trusted, always hoped, and always persevered.”

"Play4Lilly" Night (Photo: Rodney East)

“Play4Lilly” Night (Photo: Rodney East)

Comments

  1. Elaine Perry says

    Beautiful, God always works things out. What a Great Legacy to know that through her life and death many more souls will enter into the Kingom of Heaven in the out stretched arms of their Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Thank you Lily for Great are your rewards.

  2. Amanda Turner says

    Lily was an angel put here on earth for a short time❤️

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