Town will treasure ‘girl tribe’ forever

Jane Hayes The Oklahoman | USA TODAY NETWORK

TISHOMINGO – This small town forever will be touched by the lives of six girls.

Those who knew the girls recall how each was uniquely her own, and brought light and love wherever they went.

Six white crosses with the girls’ initials now stand at the site of the fatal accident that took their lives on March 22, where a tractor-trailer hauling gravel collided with the students’ Chevrolet Spark at the intersection of US 377 and State Highways 22 and 99.

The loss of the six girls rocked the town of 3,000, and news of the tragedy reached across the state and the nation.

The town gathered Friday for a candlelight vigil, and the high school closed every day this week except for Thursday so students could attend the girls’ funerals.

Tishomingo High School teacher and yearbook sponsor Lindsay McCarter wrote a long Facebook tribute to the “girl tribe” she said was different and “just so cool.”

“They were the brave and bold teenagers I never was,” McCarter said. “They lived, laughed, loved extremely, out loud and in vibrant colors. That is what set them apart from so many.”

The obituary for one of the girls, Brooklyn Triplett, called the group of friends the “Tishomingo six” and said they lived “unapologetically and wholly.” “We can only one day hope to live a life so carefree, wonderous (sic), and fulfilled as they,” the obituary reads.

“They would be the first to hope we find PEACE in all this chaos,” McCarter said in her Facebook post. “Their flight was such a different, most unimaginable one that has made a statement and taken our breath away. We will forever remember.”

Grace Machado

Jessica Grace “Gracie” Machado, 15, loved to dance.

Her coworker Mary Romano said one of her favorite memories of Machado was how they would dance in the kitchen at work. Machado was full of life and gave sincere hugs, Romano said.

“She had a smile that lit up the room,” she said.

McCarter said in her Facebook post that she once asked students what song they thought of when they heard the quote, “When you’re happy you enjoy the music, but when you’re sad you understand its lyrics.”

For Machado, the song “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield came to mind.

“She expressed how it was a happy song to dance to, but when you’re sad you see it is talking about real stuff,” McCarter said.

McCarter said one of Machado’s favorite quotes was from Tobey Maguire’s “Spider-Man”: “Not everyone is meant to make a difference, but for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.”

“Gracie accomplished both,” McCarter said.

Machado’s funeral service was Wednesday.

Brooklyn Triplet

Brooklyn Enae Triplett, 15, was described as an “old soul” in her obituary.

Triplett also was a natural at softball, a lover of art and nature, and someone in need could count on.

“She felt and loved so deeply,” the obituary reads.

Triplett’s song choice in McCarter’s class was “Yellow” by ColdPlay. One of her favorite quotes from her, McCarter said, was by Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so do n’t waste it on living someone else’s life.”

“The rest of the world will know her as one of the Tishomingo six, but she will always be our #22,” the obituary for Triplett said. “As she has done so many times in the past, she stole home despite her coaches wishes from her. … Ella She may have left this world too soon, but ella she left it a much better place.”

A celebration of life will be held Friday and the family asks attendees to wear colorful and comfortable clothes to “celebrate such a beautiful soul.”

Memory Wilson

Memory Jade Billy Wilson, 17, was fondly called “Mems” by those who knew her.

According to her obituary, Wilson loved music, drawing and crystals. She was a “true fairy woodland girl,” the obituary reads.

The town of Tishomingo will remember “her bright smile” as she checked them out at the Tishomingo Quick Mart. Ella’s friends and family will remember how she held scorpions and bees in her hand without a sting.

For Wilson, “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield was “the perfect song to vibe to with the windows down, volume way up,” McCarter said.

“It breaks our hearts you were taken so unexpectedly but your memory will never leave us,” her obituary reads. “You were our beautiful ray of sunshine.”

Wilson’s funeral service was Monday.

austin holt

Austin Daniella Holt, 15, was a free spirit and loyal friend.

Before moving to Tishomingo, Holt lived with her family in Arizona where she was a cheerleader and gymnast and played volleyball. In Tishomingo she was a member of FFA and enjoyed showing her pigs, her obituary said.

She loved helping on the farm, driving her papa’s Ranger, making crafts, baking, traveling and shopping. She loved her animals from her, namely her goat, Dixie, rabbit, Cookie, and her dogs from her, Nova and Lil’ Joe.

“Your smile, the memories and legacy you left behind will be cherished and missed forever but never forgotten,” her obituary reads. One of Holt’s coworkers, Miranda,

One of Holt’s coworkers, Miranda, described her as kind and a good listener.

“She asked a lot about my son and she loved him a lot,” Miranda said. “She told me someday she wanted a family.” Holt’s funeral service was Monday.

AJ Gratz

Addison Joe “AJ” Gratz, 17, always made her friends feel loved and accepted.

She loved to read, listen to music, play video games, draw and write.

“AJ … had a way about her that made everyone want to smile,” said her friend Braden Graham during a candlelight vigil Friday. “She loved nature and hanging out in her hammock. Only Lord knows how much she loved that thing.”

A gifted writer, Gratz hoped to become an English teacher one day, Graham said. The two had hoped to attend college together.

“I got my acceptance letter and I hope I can make you proud,” Graham said. Her funeral service for her was Monday.

madison robertson

Madison Patience Michelle Robertson, 16, will be remembered for making life fun.

She loved to skateboard, listen to music and wear unique clothes.

“She loved going to thrift stores and creating a style masterpiece,” her friend Lance Thompson said at the candlelight vigil. “Ella She ella ‘s the only person we know who could turn a toy or a trinket into a pair of earrings and pull it off.”

Robertson believed in making the most of every day and keeping worry out of the equation, McCarter said.

She played percussion in the school band, and played bells and drums at her church, according to her obituary.

“Most importantly, Madison adored and cherished her family and friends,” her obituary reads. “She was a ray of light; she loved everyone and lived life to the fullest.”

Robertson’s funeral service was Tuesday.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *