Friends, family gather to honor life of alumnus

Friends and family of Andrew Shehata released balloons at Edmonds beach on Friday evening as a way to say goodbye to Shehata and to honor him.

By Stephi Smith, Executive Editor

The memorial service for 2014 alumnus Andrew Shehata was held at St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church to honor his life after he died last Friday in a hiking accident. Friends, family and members of the MTHS community gathered for his celebration of life at noon on Saturday, before his burial at 2 p.m. at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery in Shoreline.

See related story: Memorial service Saturday for alumnus killed in hiking accident

A slideshow with pictures of Shehata with family and friends played outside the main hall of the church, in the foyer, next to a wooden key crafted by the Terrace Key Club, of which Shehata was a member. Members of Key Club were invited to sign the gift, after engineering teacher James Wilson created it at school.

The service, open to the public, quickly filled and cars were redirected next door for extra parking. Andrew Shehata’s mother, Jaime Shehata, said she knew her family was aware of the love her son shared with his family and she was glad so many others knew too.

The service consisted of both Arabic and English-spoken prayers. Afterward, Andrew Shehata’s younger sister, senior Zanny Shehata shared her own words about her brother.

She said he is the best big brother ever and went on to share memories from their childhood and recently.

“I told my grandmother, before she passed away in February,” Zanny Shehata said, “that me and Andy were going to change the world. I see now that he already has.”

Andrew Shehata’s girlfriend of two years, Kayleen Turner, also spoke, along with her younger sister.

Turner said meeting Shehata at Target, where he worked, was the best thing that ever happened to her. It was love at first sight, she said and constant communication immediately ensued between the two.

Turner’s younger sister read from a letter their father wrote for Shehata that said he loved Shehata like a son for the way he treated Turner as a boyfriend as well as her younger sister, as the “big brother she never had.”

Following the service, members of Shehata’s family and Turner met with attendees who gave their condolences.


Do you have any memories of Andrew Shehata that you would like to share? If so, comment below or email [email protected]