Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly used the word homecoming instead of homegoing.
A homegoing service was held in Constitution Square in South Boston on Sunday, September 12 for Justyce Reid, a student of Halifax County High School. Reid, a cheerleader who her mother said had a bubbly personality, was beloved by her classmates.
Reid passed away earlier this month shortly after contracting COVID-19. Reid’s mother, Jacqueline, said the loss has been difficult, but that she’s been grateful for the support she’s received from her church and community at her daughter’s homegoing service and in the days since her passing.
“She has done things that some people don’t do in a lifetime,” Reid said about her daughter. “As many people that showed up, all races, just different people that she has really inspired with her love… I just know that God is well pleased.”
Reid said her daughter had down syndrome and a narrow airway, and because of that sometimes had trouble breathing. Doctors said she might not live to be ten years old. Despite numerous surgeries and therapies over the years, Reid said her daughter always wanted to try new things and was a cheerleader for her high school, did dance for ten years and participated in the special Olympics polar plunge at Virginia Beach every year.
“She never let her disability stop her from trying,” Reid said.
The Reids were members of Deliverance Tabernacle of the Apostolic Faith in South Boston. Reid said her daughter liked singing and dancing in church and hanging out with her friends at school.
Reid said she has been surprised by the outpouring of support for her daughter, and that her phone has been ringing off the hook at times.
Despite the loss of several family members, as Reid has lost her son, her mother and her brother in the past, Reid said she can lean on her faith in God to keep going.
“I know that God carries me,” Reid said. “I have a strong faith in God.”
Reid said her daughter set a good example for how to treat others.
“You’ve got to love people and love God and do the best you can by people,” Reid said. “And she showed that.”
Reid said she wants to do something to help others and to make sure that her daughter’s memory lives on, potentially a scholarship.
“I want to do something, and I’m going to do it,” Reid said. “Because as my daughter would say, she’s okay.”