Ensign students pay tribute to Maddy Boutelle

Ensign Intermediate School's gym fell silent Friday as classmates, friends and family gathered to commemorate Madison "Maddy" Boutelle.

The 13-year-old Newport Beach resident suffered a brain aneurysm at a friend's birthday party June 8 and died Tuesday at Children's Hospital of Orange County.

Dozens of Maddy's friends jumped at the opportunity to speak, many saying she will always be remembered for her smile and positive attitude.

"I think the biggest thing was that she was always happy," said Kira Ellis, 14, Maddy's best friend. "She never got mad at people, even if they were really annoying. She was always in the best mood and put everyone else in the best mood."

Kira and a group of Maddy's closest friends arranged the ceremony. The service included a video presentation by Maddy's peers and the school faculty. The videos, one of which Kira made, included various photos of Maddy accompanied by her favorite song, "Everywhere I Go," by Lissie.

"She was the most beautiful girl I've ever met in my whole life, inside and out and everything," said eighth-grader Peyton Groves. "I am forever changed by her and so is everyone else. I want to be more like her. She never took life for granted."

Maddy's classmates said music was a big part of her life. She could always be found wearing headphones, they said, adding that Coldplay was her favorite band.

A group of Maddy's closest friends gathered in front of the assembly to sing "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz.

To celebrate Maddy's life, Ensign's 2012 class will carry white roses at graduation next week. At Maddy's memorial service, Kira plans to wear the "blush-colored" dress that Maddy planned to wear on her graduation day.

As he held a blue banner signed by Ensign's physical education students, Matt Boutelle, Maddy's father, said he was overwhelmed and grateful for the amount of love and support he has seen from Maddy's friends.

"Kira opened up Maddy's Facebook to me on Tuesday in the hospital," Boutelle said. "It's absolutely amazing how, as a parent, you know your daughter, but I never got the chance to know how she was a friend to a friend.

"Reading what I read about her, there are so many other sides of her I never knew as a parent. It was a wonderful experience and neat to see the absolutely amazing stuff they said."

A paddleout in Maddy's honor will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday off 24th Street in Newport Beach, followed by a public memorial service at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 600 St. Andrews Road.


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