On July 24, floodwaters poured into Cottonwood, shortening the life of 16-year-old Faith Moore.
While in her car, Moore called emergency services for help after floodwaters stuck her car in a low wash area. According to officials, the waters rose more than 8 feet high in less than an hour and swept Moore and his car downstream.
Four days later, she was found dead after the Camp Verde and Cottonwood community came together to conduct a widespread search near the Verde River.
Moore’s family and friends gathered on Sunday to hold a service in his memory at Verde Community Church, which also streamed the service online.
Moore’s family did not speak, but as coaches and friends spoke, they painted a portrait of a dedicated athlete and kind-hearted teenager.
Danya Weir, coach of local softball club Moore Rampage, explained how eager Moore was to play softball.
Moore worked her way up the team, eventually becoming a star pitcher, where she led the team to a championship game, Weir said.
Besides being a great player, she had a “good heart,” Weir said.
“She believed in her teammates,” she said, “and she made you feel welcome.”
Mingus High School softball coach John Brown fought back tears as he stepped onto the podium.
He explained that although Moore was one of his players, he also considered her a friend.
As a coach, he works to inspire his athletes, but one of Moore’s messages inspired him, he said.
She asked how she could help and, in a message, promised to do her best to win their team a championship out of respect for Moore and his hard work, he said.
“‘From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do,'” he said as he read her message to her. “‘I really like everything you do for me and for the other girls. I hope you have a good night, thank you for all you really do.
Family friend Mary Phelps said Moore became like a daughter to her.
“She wanted to be loved and give love and she did that to our family,” Phelps said.
Perhaps the most significant form of that love came when the community came together despite recent hardships, she said.
The sense of community in the room was reflected in the more than 330 people who tuned in to view the service via the live stream.
To wrap up the service, Pastor Jeremy Peters spoke about healing by keeping Moore’s memory alive. He commented on the hashtag used when searching for Moore, “#findfaith”, and suggested the day could represent an opportunity for the community to “find hope”.
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