Apologies for tardy update. Friday’s funeral was a spectacular affair. The enormous sanctuary of Zionsville United Methodist Church was nearly standing-room only attendance. The scouts showed up in large numbers from many different levels of including troops, packs, district, and even Council, in the person of Council Scout Executive Patrick Sterrett.
DJ’s patrol completed a couple of requirements posthumously on DJ’s behalf, allowing Troop 804 to award DJ his Second and First Class ranks, posthumously, too.
Even more impressively, at the request of Troop 804 Scoutmaster Greg Hoyes and the recommendation of the Crossroads of America Council, the National Court of Honor awarded DJ Preece the rather new Spirit of the Eagle Award. This award is reserved for scouts who lost their lives before being able to complete the Eagle Award but throughout their scouting career exhibited the characteristics of being worthy of the Eagle Award. This is high praise for a 12-year old.
The pastor in his homily did an exceptional job of explaining and showing through videos why DJ was worthy of such an award. DJ’s enthusiasm for life, compassion for people, and hard work in following his passions gleamed through all messages.
Here is a statement from Scoutmaster Greg Hoyes of Troop 804, released with the family’s permission:
DJ Preece, a member of Troop 804, passed away at 8:33 am this morning, September 12th, at St. Vincent Children’s Hospital after having flu like symptoms for 24 hours.He was 12 years old. He became unresponsive at 6:30 am and was transported to the hospital by Zionsville Fire Department. He was briefly revived at the hospital but he could not hold on.The official cause of his death is pending an autopsy. The family asks for your thoughts and prayers as we work through this difficult time. Further information will be forthcoming as arrangements are made.Yours in ScoutingGreg HoyesTroop 804 Scoutmaster
The family would welcome any District Scouts and Scouters who wished to attend the Celebration of Life when it is held. Details are still pending. The Celebration of Life is expected to be held before the end of this week. Watch this post for updates.
May the Great Master of All Scouts be with DJ and his family, until they meet again.
From Greg Hoyes:
The details for DJ’s Celebration of Life are:Life CelebrationFriday, September 18, 5:00 PMVisitationFriday, September 18, 6:00 PMZionsville United Methodist Church9644 Whitestown RoadZionsville, IN 46077Please remember, we are wearing COMPLETE Class A Uniforms with our Ransburg or FSB Orange Shirts underneath them.Along with the great attendance last night in memory of DJ, I hope to see everyone of your there on Friday. Other Troops from Zionsville and the North Star District are being invited, so the support from the Boy Scout Community that DJ was part of should be very impressive.If you have any questions, please let me know.Yours in ScoutingGreg HoyesTroop 804 Scoutmaster