Elizabeth, IN asking for comfort during trying times - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Elizabeth, IN asking for comfort during trying times

The sign on The Lighthouse United Methodist Church now reads “Dear Father, Comfort Elizabeth.” (Source: WAVE 3 News) The sign on The Lighthouse United Methodist Church now reads “Dear Father, Comfort Elizabeth.” (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Patty Shaffer (Source: South Central Senior/Junior High School) Patty Shaffer (Source: South Central Senior/Junior High School)
Jimmy Bittner (Source: Family photo) Jimmy Bittner (Source: Family photo)

ELIZABETH, IN (WAVE) - Elizabeth, Indiana has a population of just 162 people, according to their last census report. Now, at least two of those people died tragically over the school’s fall break.
 
Both victims, were part of the family inside the halls of South Central Junior-Senior High School.

South Central students lost their beloved teacher and volleyball coach, Patty Shaffer, to an ATV crash on Oct. 9. Then over fall break, senior Jimmy Bittner was on vacation in North Carolina and was swept into the ocean.

Crews searched for Bittner for days on Hatteras Island. His grandfather said his body was discovered off a pier three days later.

“Jimmy was awesome to have in class, he always lit up the room with his smile,” his teacher Sarah Eyssen said. 

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Now his friends and classmates are left with their memories of him.
 
“Every time he would laugh I could hear him from down the hallway. It was just one of those laughs, if you heard it you knew, that’s Jimmy. And that's what I'll miss hearing,” his friend Hailey said.  
 
Monday night, The Lighthouse United Methodist Church held a prayer service for the community. About a dozen people came out; it was last minute but necessary when words weren’t enough and pain seemed unbearable.
 
“God just said, have a prayer service and invite the community,” Pastor Donna said. “We just want to pray and we want to lift up this town that's suffering, these families that are suffering with these losses.”
 
The sign on The Lighthouse United Methodist Church now reads “Dear Father, Comfort Elizabeth.”
 
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