PILOT MOUNTAIN — In thepast two years, the East Surry High School Class of 2016 has twice been struck by tragedy. Last year, Jacob Pettitt died in a car accident. This year, Gage Edwards also died in a car accident.
Now, Edwards, Pettitt and all the former East Surry High students who lost their lives while attending the Pilot Mountain school will be remembered in a granite monument on school grounds. It is all part of the Eagle Scout project for Class of 2016 member Devon Goble.
“This project means a lot to me,” Goble said on Monday. “I knew Jacob, and I was friends and teammates with Gage. I know what they meant to our class, our school and our community. I also know the other students who have died through the years meant a lot to their friends, families and this community. I wanted to do something to recognize and remember them all.”
The monument will be placed in the grassy area near the front of the school adjacent to the parking lot that sits between the school and the football stadium. The plan already has been approved by the Surry County Schools Board of Education, East Surry Principal Lorrie Sawyers, the local Boy Scout council, and the town of Pilot Mountain.
Goble, a member of Boy Scout Troop 545 in Pilot Mountain, has spent time researching the history of East Surry to try and identify those who have died while attending the school.
“I do not want to miss anyone,” Goble said. “I am hoping that anyone who knows of a student who passed away while at East will contact me so I can make sure all are included on the monument.”
The monument, which will be prepared by Wholesale Monument Company in Mount Airy, will feature rows of names with the year the student died. It will honor both former Rebels — the team mascot was Rebels for many years — and Cardinals.
The project will feature a pathway to the monument and a walkway around the granite slab. Goble plans to landscape the area to help make it a fitting tribute. He expects the final cost to be about $1,600.
“These were and are our friends,” Goble said. “We want their families and our neighbors to know we will never forget them. They will be Cardinals and Rebels forever.”
Goble is in the process of raising the money for the project. He is planning to have the monument installed and an unveiling ceremony sometime before school starts again in August.
To send Goble information on East Surry students who have died, send a letter to Devon Goble, 141 Hastings Lane, Pilot Mountain, NC 27041. Anyone who would like to donate toward the cost of the project can send a check, made out to Boy Scout Troop 545, c/o Devon Goble, 141 Hastings Lane, Pilot Mountain, NC 27041.