“Hundreds attend service for Rancho Santa Margarita 14-year-old”
LAKE FOREST With punk rock music and worship songs, with poetry and text messages, with tears and applause, family and friends celebrated the life of a Rancho Santa Margarita teen who died five days after being struck by a pickup truck.
Hundreds attended a celebration service Saturday at Saddleback Church for 14-year-old Hayden Michael Meier, remembering a friend whose blue eyes, biting humor and infectious smile touched their lives.
Meier, an El Toro High School student, was crossing Euclid Street in Fountain Valley July 11 when he was struck by a 2007 Ford F-150.He was taken off life support July 16.
Standing next to an urn containing Hayden’s ashes, his uncle, Mike Meier, described his close relationship with his nephew.
“We had special bond,” said Meier, whose voice broke while speaking about the child he first met while in college. “When I came back on Christmas break and saw him laying in his crib, I was hooked.”
“I never saw him as my nephew. I saw him as my son.”
The service began with music from the Beach Boys and Christian worship leaders, followed by a live band performing the Blitzkrieg Bop, a song by The Ramones, one of Hayden’s favorite bands.
Speakers said Hayden loved music, Knott’s Scary Farm, video games and spending time with his two nephews.
They also said that Hayden was a joker with a good heart.
“He was tender and sensitive and very smart,” said his aunt, Krystn Meier. “Sometimes, too smart for his own good.”
His grandfather, also Mike Meier, said that his grandson would always tease him for having his shirt tucked in.
“So Hayden in honor of you, here you go,” Mike Meier said, and un-tucked his shirt to the cheers of the audience.
His godmother cried as she read a poem in Hayden’s honor.
His twin sister, Kaitlyn, spoke to the crowd with her mother by her side.
“He made the 14 years I had with him wonderful,” Kaitlyn said. “I will never forget our stupid fights.”
“I really do love you and miss you, my younger twin brother,” Kaitlyn said through tears.
From a stage covered with musical instruments and sound chords, Pastor Doug Elliot, of Rock Irvine church, said that those who followed Jesus would see Hayden again in heaven.
“I know that there is eternity and I know that Hayden is there,” Elliot said.
Near the end of the service Elliot invited guests to send text messages of love and support to the family. The messages were then displayed on a screen behind the band, messages like “we’ll miss you,” “rest in peace dude,” and “best twin brother 🙂 I love you.”
“I think he would have loved the service, especially all the pictures of him moshing (displayed) during the Ramones’ song,” said mom Michelle Meier.
More than 406 people signed the condolences book in his memory, Michelle Meier said.
Sabrina Stiers, 13, a neighbor and friend who said she’d known Hayden for at least six years, was one of the many crying at the service.
“If he could do anything, he would be hanging out with his friends,” Stiers said. “He’s a really good guy and I wish he could be back right now.”
Family members asked that donations be made to a memorial fund in Hayden’s name for his twin sister’s Kaitlyn’s education fund.
Donations can be made to the School’s First Federal Credit Union care of the Hayden Michael Meier Memorial Fund account number 693771.
For information on how to give call the credit union 714-258-400 or 1-800-462-8328.
Hayden’s godmother asks that people sign an online memorial to Hayden at http://www.christianmemorials.com/tributes/hayden-meier/.
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