Quarles family press release

APPOMATTOX, VA (WWBT) - It was Tuesday a day like any other day.  January 19th  when we were all about our business, living our lives unaware of the terrible events about to unfold.  Eight lives were lost:  John Quarles 43,  his wife Karen Quarles 43,  their daughter Emily Quarles 15, along with Emily's boyfriend Ronald  "Bo" Scruggs 16, Emily's friend Morgan Dobyns, 15 and their neighbors, the Sipes.

We ask you to allow our families to heal and to go forward with the respect, the time and the privacy we need to heal ourselves.  This event has occurred so quickly – so unexpectedly - impacted so many families, parents, students, children and grandparents.

What can we say, what are we experiencing?  shock, grief, suffering, sadness, anger, denial,– all these things  - and so much more.  Yet in all this sorrow there is a unity of spirit, a circle of love, and our determination and will to go on.

This tragedy is a loss of a loved one, a loss of a parent, a loss of a sister, a friend, a co-worker, an employee, a neighbor.  A loss that will affect each of us differently – our lives will never be the same.  So let's us go on together, heart to heart, shoulder to shoulder as we strengthen, support and endure together ….. to render to John, Karen and Emily -celebrating their lives - living on in our hearts forevermore!

We want to extend our sympathy and condolences to the Scruggs families for their loss.  And to the Sipe and Dobyns families our sympathy and condolences for their loss.

We want to thank all of the first responders and law enforcement officials who responded immediately to this horrific tragedy.  We would also  like to thank George Dawson, CEO, of Centra, and the entire Centra Staff for providing support and compassion to all of us the evening of the horrible tragedy.  We also want to thank the Chaplaincy department for their ongoing support to family and co-workers at Centra.

The Canard-Pritchard-Quarles Memorial Fund is being created for the benefit of the three surviving children:  Meghan Pritchard, Matthew Pritchard and Derrick Quarles  Donations will be for the survivors and St.Judes's Hospital as well as other charities on behalf of John, Karen and Emily.  Please send your donations to Tharp Funeral Home, 220 Breezewood Drive, Lynchburg, Va.  24502.

Derrick, Matthew and Meghan would like to share with you a little about their family.  .

John lived to please others. He was a Christian man, very moral, and very proud of all of his children.  He was an avid animal lover, loving any kind of animal.   John did a lot for charities and spent a lot of time helping others.

Karen is a very family oriented mother and wife  - very caring.  She was our very best friend and loved doing things with her family and spending with her family.  She planned cookouts whenever they could be together.  Our mother was very protective, even as we became adults.  She continues to help us out even as we grew up into adulthood.  She still wanted to do for us and have her family all around her.  Her hobbies are her children.  Karen loved being a mother of four, she was happy being a mother, our mother and we will miss her forever.

Emily was fun loving sister.  She loved to skate, like any teen.  She loved being on her cell phone.  She loved her brothers and sisters and looked up to all of them.  Emily likes to help us move into our homes, always willing to do anything she could.  She was at a time in her life, 15, and she loved being 15 and the young woman she was becoming.

We will miss them, but we know they all together in heaven now.

Carol, Karen's mother:  "when Karen was young she was full of life, always smiling, happy, a gymnast, in the marching band.   As an adult she was very calm but yet still smiling.  She was my beloved daughter."

Our families have begun our journey together, and watching our families gather together, working together, enduring together climbing the hill that stands before us.   We watch their love, their graciousness, their caring, their nurturing each other individually and collectively in the midst of this senseless suffering – so endearing and so inspiring.  We know we can all do this together - even though it will not be easy!  Our hearts go our to all those who have gone before us and regretfully to all those who will come after us.  How do we end this senseless suffering?

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