Virginia campus honors LI camp counselors killed in crash

Friends and classmates gather outside Canon Memorial Chapel Friends and classmates gather outside Canon Memorial Chapel on the campus of the University of Richmond after a memorial service honoring the lives of sisters Jamie and Paige Malone. (Aug. 28, 2010) Photo Credit: Clement Britt

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RICHMOND, Va. - As Diane and Daphne Malone, the mother and sister of Jamie and Paige Malone, carried two candles down the aisle of Cannon Memorial Chapel at the University of Richmond Saturday, three musicians played "Pachelbel Meets U2: With or Without You."

The arrangement, fusing the centuries-old Baroque composition with a tune by the sisters' favorite band, symbolized what the chaplain said was the service's purpose: to celebrate the lives of two vibrant young women.

The sisters, Paige Malone, 19, and Jamie Malone, 22, along with Michael Mulhall, 22, died on July 15 when the car in which they were passengers struck a tree on the Meadowbrook State Parkway. They were on their way to work as counselors at the special-needs Camp Anchor in Lido Beach.

About 750 students, faculty and others attended the 90-minute service, which began with a procession of symbols representing the many communities affected by the deaths: a daisy necklace from the university's women's college; signed T-shirts from Camp Anchor; a Waterford vase of flowers from Floral Park.

"These young women were shining lights on our campus," University president Edward Ayers said as he fought back tears. The symbols "remind us that Jamie and Paige were themselves gifts, symbols of what is best about this university."

Student speakers said Paige, who would have been a junior at Richmond this fall, cared about her friends and family.

"You never know when you'll be sharing your last dance-off, drink, hug or even slice of pizza with someone you love," said friend Morgan O'Neil.

Former students also recalled Jamie, who graduated in May and had accepted a teaching job in Richmond this fall.

Kerry Winters, who grew up with Jamie in Floral Park and also graduated from Richmond in May, said that she and Jamie had wanted to study abroad in Australia, but that Jamie's commitment to Camp Anchor wouldn't allow it.

"When she realized leaving for Australia early wouldn't let her work at Camp Anchor for the summer, Australia was immediately out of the picture," Winters said.

Jim Malone, Jamie and Paige's father, talked about how he once considered discouraging his daughter from becoming an educator. "Then I saw her at Anchor," he said.

Malone told a story about seeing Jamie calm a significantly disabled camper. "He was very active with his hands and he was a 220-pound kid," Malone said. "Jamie came right over and soothed him in silence . . . and I said [to myself], 'You shouldn't steal her away from that occupation.' "

Jamie's boyfriend, Mack Clair, lamented that he never got to fulfill a Richmond tradition: proposing in the campus gazebo.

"With or without you" - Clair said, borrowing from the U2 - "I will always love you."

With Matthew Chayes

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