RENTON, Wash. - Just a few days ago, 16-year-old Teagan McGinnis was playing soccer and video games with friends. On Friday, his friends and all his family gathered at New Life Church in Renton to remember McGinnis, aKentridge High School junior killed in a car crash on his way to school.
McGinnis was celebrated for his lifelong love of singing, performing and sports. He was remembered for his blue eyes, his crooked smile and his mischief.
“He loved jumping off bunk beds with Safeway bags and pretending they were parachutes,” Pastor Derek Nelson of Highlands Community Church said.
Good friend Zach Chucka remembered Teagan for talking his father, coach Tim McGinnis, into allowing Zach to play on their soccer team. “He’s the reason I got into soccer,” Chucka told the gathered crowd of more than 1,700 mourners. “I wasn’t good at first at all, and he begged his dad to let me on the team, even though I really proved I shouldn’t be there.”
McGinnis was killed on his way to Kentridge High School Tuesday morning. A car taking a left turn struck the teen’s back bumper, which propelled his beloved red Volkswagon Jetta into the path of an oncoming vehicle. He died at Harborview Medical Center Tuesday evening after being taken off life support.
But it was McGinnis' life, not how he died, that was remembered on Friday, and how the boy who survived the death of his father from cancer six years ago, plus a stint at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, was just coming into his own. All who spoke about Teagan during the memorial said he was making his family and his father proud. “I got to see the mature young man you became, and I’m glad you’re in the arms of your dad again, up in heaven, playing soccer and making funny jokes,” Meagan Brown said.
McGinnis was also remembered by his mother as a very good driver. Even though he was only 16 years old, Laura McGinnis said Teagan was the most conscientious driver of his family.
McGinnis will be laid to rest next to his father at Bonney-Watson in SeaTac.