BY JASMINE WILLIAMS
GLEASON (October 7) – In May of 2019, Carlie Hugueley of Gleason was killed in a tragic car accident just as her fifth-grade year at Gleason School had ended. Her classmates came together to raise money for her funeral selling shirts they designed that read “Team Carlie: We will never forget.” They later planned a tree dedication and memorial plaque to be placed in front of Gleason School for all to see. On Wednesday, October 7, members of the school faculty, family and her classmates, the Class of 2026, gathered for a tree dedication in honor of Carlie.
The event started with seventh-grade president and friend of Hugueley, Luke Lawrence speaking about Carlie’s life and what she meant to so many people.
“Carlie was laughter and light. She was our class butterfly, beautiful, fragile and delicate. She was always smiling to everyone she encountered … Even in our sadness, we know that one day we will see her again,” Lawrence shared.
The October Glory Maple tree was planted in memory of Hugueley earlier this year. The day after, a bird began to make a nest on the branches. She was known for many things, including a love for animals. Many noted the bird’s nest showed was a sign that Hugueley still continues to love all animals. The maple tree planted is also known for its vibrant fall colors.
The Class of 2026 placed butterfly bracelets into a box in front of Hugueley’s tree as Carrie Underwood’s song, “See You Again” was played. Carlie was known for loving butterflies and the color purple. Hugueley’s mother, Kammy, was presented with the box of charm bracelets, a purple butterfly balloon and a butterfly pin by classmates Mackenzie Taylor and Kirsten Camacho.
Kammy Hugueley gave thanks to the faculty and friends at Gleason School, “I want to thank Carlie’s class. She loved each and everyone of you. She stopped bullying when she could, that’s how much she loved you.”
Lawrence told his favorite memory of Carlie. “She had this mean cat that hated everyone else but it loved her. The animals and butterflies just loved her.”
Classmates also stated that seeing the tree will be a great reminder of the kindness that Carlie showed to everyone she met.
School librarian Amy Lawrence talked about Carlie, both as a student and a neighbor, “Every teacher and every student in this school has been influenced by Carlie because she wore a smile everywhere she went. She never had an enemy; she was everybody’s friend. She loved to sing and dance and was very creative. She was someone that no one can forget.”
Classmate Colt Corbin closed the student-planned service with prayer.
The ceremony was originally scheduled for the spring of this year on the first anniversary of her death, but due to COVID-19, it was postponed to October.