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‘Alisa, you can’t be gone’

Tim Willert

Alisa Belcourt was remembered Friday for her commitment to her faith,

family and friends.

An estimated 600 people, many of whom were classmates and


teammates of Alisa’s at John Burroughs High School, attended a solemn

memorial service at St. Charles Catholic Church for the 15-year-old

drowning victim.

Flanked by enlarged photos of the girl and more than a dozen


floral arrangements, Father Robert Gallagher thanked those in

attendance for their “wonderful outpouring of love and support,” and

acknowledged that their sorrow would “take an awful lot of time to


“This is a young woman who was loved by God,” Gallagher told the

gathering. “We pray that she is at rest and peace.”

Alisa, an honor student who played junior varsity volleyball at

Burroughs, disappeared into a river near Leavenworth, Wash., on Aug.


13 after falling from an inflatable raft during a family outing. Her

body was recovered nine days later.

“This is not a day for us to get answers for what happened,”

Gallagher said. “There are simply some things the world we live in

cannot give us the answers to.”

Alisa’s stepfather, Chris Courtney, delivered an emotional eulogy.

“This is the time for you to drive your own car ... to prepare for

college ... to fall in love ... to worry your parents,” Courtney


said, tears in his eyes. “Alisa, you can’t be gone, because we have

so much to do.”

Courtney was followed to the pulpit by Alisa’s father, David

Belcourt, a resident of Redmond, Wash., where Alisa was born and

where she was visiting at the time of the accident. He was

accompanied by Alisa’s sisters, Kelli, 12, and Holly, 8.

“I knew Alisa had a lot of friends, but this is overwhelming,”

Belcourt said. “There’s a lot of love in this room.”

Belcourt broke down while reading a poem and was embraced his

young daughters.

“She took pride in being your big sister,” he told them.

Belcourt then asked those in attendance to stand and applaud his


Another memorial service for Alisa was held earlier this week in

Redmond, Wash.