Funeral held for missionary killed in hit-and-run

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KEARNS -- Family and friends said a final goodbye to a young man killed while serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Trevor Strong of Taylorsville and Elder Derek Walker of Fairfield, Idaho, died as a result of being hit by a car in Donna, Texas.

Hundreds gathered for Monday's funeral service, including 50-60 missionaries who served with Elders Strong and Walker in the McAllen, Texas mission.

The former missionaries traveled from all over the country to be at the service held at the Kearns Stake Center. Many we spoke to say Strong was the type of missionary people gravitated to and wanted to be like.

Aaron Cark served with Strong. He said, "Everyone loved him; A lot of people would talk about Elder Strong, and everyone seemed to gather around him as they do around certain missionaries, but he seemed like a very fun loving guy, a guy out to change the world."

Manu Fifita, who also served with Strong, said, "Elder Strong was special; there are no words to really explain him. There was definitely a reason Heavenly Father called him to the other side. He was an amazing person."

Strong, Walker and a third missionary, Elder Zachary Harris were riding their bikes on a road in Donna, Texas, last Tuesday when a car coming the opposite direction tried to pass another car and hit the three head on. The driver fled the scene but later turned himself him.

Strong had already completed his mission and was due home but had asked to stay a few weeks longer and continue serving. Close friends of the family say it's that dedication to his faith that made him such a good example to others.

They say today is remembering that service as they say goodbye to such a wonderful young man.

Family friend Kenneth May said, 'Today we say goodbye to his physical body, but his memory will be within all of us for the rest of our lives, and he'll have a place in everyone's heart that attends this funeral."

Elder Russell M. Nelson, one of the 12 apostles for the LDS Church arrived at the Kearns Stake Center about 20 minutes before the funeral service began. We're told that though he doesn't know the Strong family personally, he is speaking at the funeral.

The funeral for Walker is also being held Monday. That funeral will be held at Camas County High School, in his hometown of Fairfield Idaho, at 1 p.m.


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