Family, friends remember girl, 15, hit by car

March 01, 1995|By Shirley Leung | Shirley Leung,Sun Staff Writer

A bunch of daisies rested on top of Jennifer Lynne McCormick's worn combat boots. The silver stud she had worn pierced through her eyebrow was in a glass dish, and the acoustical guitar she had played leaned against a table at the Hardesty Funeral Home in Gambrills.

They were among the mementos her family and friends displayed at a memorial service Monday night for the 10th-grade Arundel High School honors student who died Saturday morning at Maryland Shock Trauma Center after being struck by a car while while crossing Route 424 in Crofton. She was 15.

"Jenny was like a beautiful, gentle flower," her uncle, Kenneth Schellhase, said during the service. "When the moment was right she would open up, show her beauty to the world and then close up."

About 200 friends and relatives gathered to remember Jennifer, a free-spirited Odenton teen-ager, who was a promising writer for her school's literary magazine, an avid ice skater and a skillful artist who taught herself to play the guitar.

She spent much of her time by herself, strumming her guitar in her room, writing in journals. She only opened up when she was with her closest friends, a group of about five girls she had dubbed the "autonomous clique."

"I'm really going to miss her. I'll always love her because if I had a problem she would always talk to me and make me feel better," said 16-year-old friend Rachel Farr, a junior at Arundel and member of the clique.

"We always used to hang out at the Crofton Library. We called it the 'L'," she added. "We always said we studied there but we never did. We just looked up weird stuff in the nonfiction section."

The clique ate at the "K cafe" -- the Kmart cafeteria in Crofton, where Jennifer, a vegetarian, always ordered potato tots, or "potato products," as she called them.

The night she was hit, she was rushing to catch up with the clique to see a band at Baldwin Hall in Millersville.

She liked to dye her long, blond hair odd colors; black, purple, green, gray and most recently, mahogany. And she was the only one in the group whose parents had allowed her to pierce her eyebrow.

"She always had an independent streak to her," said her mother, Bonnie McCormick. "She'd like to be outrageous. We tried to allow her to do what she wanted. We didn't have to worry about it. She was never into drugs or drinking. She was always a good girl."

Jennifer liked to shop, too, her friends said. Not at the malls, but in thrift shops, the Goodwill store and the Lutheran Mission in Annapolis where she could find bell bottoms, cardigan sweaters and clothing in her favorite shades of purple.

Jennifer grew up in Odenton where her family lives in the 1200 block of Hillcrest Road. But she loved downtown Annapolis and often hung out at the City Dock with her friends.

She was planning a trip to England this summer with her best friend, Beth Mottar, and others from the clique. And she had seemed unusually optimistic last Friday, the friends said.

"She was happy all day. Just that day she said she was looking forward to the rest of her life," recalled Beth, a 15-year-old Arundel High sophomore.

In addition to her mother, Jennifer is survived by her father, Dennis McCormick; one brother, Travis L. McCormick, of Odenton, and her grandparents, Everette McCormick, of Riverdale; and William J. Richards Jr. and Beva Richards of Bowie.

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