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Rejections over funeral arrangements upset Way family

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GOUVERNEUR — The family of Marine Private First Class Skyler D. Way, killed in a car accident last week in North Carolina, is distressed that their requests to have his calling hours and funeral at either the Gouverneur Fire Department or Gouverneur Central School were turned down.

“It’s upsetting. It’s a small community. We’re not trying to stir up trouble. We’re just trying to keep our son in town,” PFC Way’s mother, Shannon M. Way, said. “We should all pull together. We want our son home and we want our son at rest.”

Mrs. Way said the family was looking for a larger setting than French Funeral Home in case the turnout was large but did not want to have it in a church.

“We just want to have what Skyler would want,” Mrs. Way said. “That’s not his setting. I didn’t feel he would be happy. We’re trying to accommodate what he would want. That’s all.”

Gouverneur Fire Chief Steven M. Young and Gouverneur Central School Superintendent Lauren F. French were unavailable for comment.

The family will likely accept an offer by the Elks Club to have calling hours and the funeral there but the timing is not ideal.

The body of Skyler Way is expected in Gouverneur Thursday and the family had wanted to have calling hours Friday and the funeral Saturday but the Elks Club is already hosting a wedding Saturday. So calling hours will likely take place Sunday and the funeral Monday, Mrs. Way said.

Mayor Ronald P. McDougall said he was trying to help the family. Police will provide an escort.

“This is a military community so we’re trying to do what we can,” he said. “I’m trying to be proactively involved in getting this done for the family.”

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