RANDOLPH, NJ- In the wake of this past weekends’ tragedy, the Randolph community came together at St Matthew the Apostle Church on Monday night, July 29. Hundreds of teens and countless adults gathered together for a memorial service, to help console each other and mourn the loss of young life. Cars lined the streets for blocks, and the church was standing room only, as many who came to pay their respects could not fit inside and stood to listen in the church entry way.
Reverend Dan Murphy began the prayer service, and while reflecting on the tragedy, he invited all in attendance to pray in whatever way made them comfortable. After some prayers and words from Reverend Murphy, the room grew still as a somber and emotional playing of the song “The Rose” echoed through the silent church.
A small group of students who were some of the closest friends of the two then got up to speak. They spoke words that were heartfelt and emotional, words that at the tender age of 17, they shouldn’t have to speak. But they supported and helped each other through it, as they all echoed the positive sentiments that have been heard around town all weekend long about both boys.
“They were the kind of friends who would do anything for you”
“They were like two five year olds trapped in these huge man bodies”
“They lived life to the fullest”
“They were inseparable, they were best buddies”
“You couldn’t walk past Calvin in the hallway and not laugh”
“God gained two amazing angels”
“We all gained perfect guardian angels”
“A lot of people wait their whole lives to feel like we did together, I was so lucky”
One student brought the room to laughter when he described meeting each of the boys in sixth grade. Looking in Verduga’s direction he was met with a “What are you looking at? And upon meeting Timmerman he got a “Hi”. Despite the differing first meetings, he quickly became close friends with both, and described them as amazing kids.
“Can you imagine Calvin without Jack? Can you imagine Jack without Calvin?”
“Can you imagine Calvin and Jack growing old and grey together?”
“Jack, I am so grateful I had you in my life, I cannot wait to see you again.”
“I think God knew to not leave one here without the other.”
“They were never going to grow up, they truly will remain forever young.”
Aspiring singer and songwriter Tia Scola, who just graduated from Randolph this past Spring, was then invited up to the alter. She was joined by her younger sister Lisa who still attends the school. The two sang a beautiful song they co-wrote on Monday morning in honor of the boys, entitled "Two More Angels". The chorus reflects the words spoken by many of the students, stating: "Heaven's got to make room for two more angels". Scola put together a touching video with photos of the boys and their friends which can be viewed here:
Reverend Murphy reminded all of the available counseling services and said a final prayer. Upon leaving, many people continued on to the memorial site on Ironia road to reflect some more.
Editors note: As Randolph residents, we feel the pain and sorrow of this tragedy, and mourn with our community and our friends who are connected to it. We have tried our best to deliver information, while at the same time respecting the privacy of all in involved. Information on further services is below:
Wednesday, both families will have a joint viewing at Resurrection Catholic Church, at 651 Millbrook Ave. in Randolph from 3 to 8 p.m. according to news reports.
On Thursday, a funeral service will be held for Jack Timmerman at Mendham Hills Community Church, at 480 State Route 24 in Chester Township, at 10 a.m. A Mass will be held for Calvin Verduga at 1 p.m., at Sacred Heart Church, at 4 Richards Ave. in Dover.