By Joel van der Veen
HANLEY — The life of the party. An adventurer. A true friend.
In the days since Drew Kolbeck’s death, countless family and friends have shared their memories of the Hanley teen.
Some of these came in the form of posts to his Facebook page.
“I’ll miss your crazy dance moves at parties and your laugh that came right from the belly,” reads one.
“There was never a time when there wasn’t a smile on your face,” says another. “I hope you’re tearing it up where you are now.”
One simply reads: “Missing your smile, Drew.”
Speaking to the Leader last week, Drew’s mother Tanya Kolbeck said the stories have helped to sustain her and her family, in the wake of Drew’s death. They also give her hope despite her grief, she added.
“Maybe he could inspire people to be kind and always help each other out,” she said. “It was just natural for him to help people.”
Drew Kolbeck, 18, died as the result of a single vehicle rollover north of Hanley in the early morning hours of Sept. 22.
He was the middle child of Jeff and Tanya Kolbeck of Hanley. He has two brothers — Drayden, 15, and Dustin, who turns 20 this month.
Roughly 1,000 people attended Drew’s funeral service on Sept. 28 at the Hanley Community Hall.
The gathering included many students and staff from Hanley Composite School, as well as young people and others from throughout the area, as far as Craik, Davidson and Allan.
A procession of friends and relatives on dirtbikes and quads followed the hearse from the Hanley hall following the service.
Almost two weeks after his passing, friends are still sharing their memories online and sending text messages to Drew’s phone.
“I think there’s a lot of broken hearts out there,” said his mom. “He just touched people . . . He never had a mean bone in his body.”