Community celebrates Sarah Asmus
THOMAS — The life of Sarah Constance Asmus was celebrated Wednesday at her funeral.
Sarah Constance Asmus, age 18, died Sunday from injuries suffered in a car accident on Saturday as she was heading home from the University of Idaho for Thanksgiving break.
Asmus graduated in 2011 from Snake River High School as the valedictorian of her class and president of the Honor Society.
Asmus is the daughter of Kurt Asmus, a captain with the Blackfoot Police Department, and Elaine Asmus, a science teacher at Snake River High School.
Father John Worster from the Roman Catholic Church officiated the services. He said, "God in His wisdom knows the span of our days.
"God is the author and sustainer of our lives and final home," Worster prayed. "Lord, strengthen the bonds of family and community."
One of the lines of the musical tribute, "For Good," states, "because I knew you, I have been changed for good". Ashley Bevan was the soloist and more than one friend repeated this truth throughout the service.
Sarah's sister, Rachel, said, "the greatest honor I can ever have in my life is to have Sarah as my sister. As I told her in the hospital, I will never ever ever let go of you."
Sarah was one of two valedictorians of the Snake River High School class of 2011.
On graduation day last May, Sarah had lost her voice.
"She asked me to deliver her valedictory address," said her friend and salutatorian, Katie Mathis, "but I couldn't do it. Today, I can.
So at Sarah's funeral, Mathis delivered Sarah's valedictory address.
"In kindergarten, we met, made friends and took naps together," Mathis read. "We've come a long way. We've learned to laugh and to love but we have also matured together.
"I missed most of my junior year [because of problems with anorexia]."
"[When I was in the hospital], letters started arriving from friends," Mathis read. "[My friends] shared with me compassion, strength and determination.
"What causes growth," Mathis read, "experiences or possessions? Experiences provide challenges. Material things are just that—things.
"This is the beginning of a new and spectacular experience," she read. "I thank the teachers and administrators for shaping us into a proud and competent class.
"Some of us may make a difference in this nation but all of us have to try," Mathis concluded.
Sarah's friends spoke of her love of dance.
"She inspired me," one friend said. "She encouraged me so much. We played our first soccer games together; we had our first lockers together and discovered we liked boys."
"I can't wait until we have the opportunity to dance together again."
"Sarah always pushed you to do better," another friend said. "She was a really hard worker."
Co-valedictorian Jake Arbon said, "I took Sarah to homecoming.
"All the other girls were wearing black dresses," he said. "She was wearing this tealish-blue dress.
"Sarah was conscious of how other people saw her," he said. "I leaned down to tell her, 'Sarah, you are the most beautiful girl here tonight.' "I want to tell her today—Sarah, you are still the most beautiful girl here today—and we will miss you," said Arbon.
"It looks like you've gained many more daughters and sons," Father Worster said to the Asmus family. "I think you will need to build onto your house."
Sarah was an organ donor, the priest said. The Asmus family will receive a list of people who are helped by Sarah's generosity.
Sarah had joined the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at the University of Idaho. Sorority sisters from Seattle, Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, Boise and Twin Falls journeyed to attend Sarah's funeral.
"She will always be our sister; we love her," they said.
Donation jars have been set up at various local businesses and at Snake River High School. Donations can also be made online via PayPal at carolynandersonphoto.blogspot.com. Funds collected with help pay for medical expenses.