Justin Abell Home
Memories and Reflections

If you would like to post some of your own thoughts or memories about Justin,
simply write an e-mail here.
Your words will be posted within a few days.

The following poem was read aloud at Justin's memorial service.


there are magic moments in youth
sometimes only recognizable after time has passed
far enough behind
to allow a mixture of warmth and melancholy
to tint the nostalgia of memory.

of moments and places.

only when you can look back and realize how far away they are,
and how unnoticeable they were,
can you find their worth.

for they have crossed the line from remembering to memory.

how people turned from being someone you know,
to a part of your life.

from being who they were.
to who you are.

there are no tears for time

© charles l. clemmons
used by permission

Posted in reverse order of receipt, (most recent at the top).
I just wanted every one to know that Justin was my cousin and I miss him deeply (but not as much as Colin) because I did not know him that well, but I still miss him.
Amer Abell
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Abell,
I wanted to write you a letter to tell you how deeply sorry I am for the loss of your son. I go to school at College of Charleston, SC and my summer classes kept me from coming home when I learned about the car accident.
Justin and I became friends the year he came to Asheville Middle. For several days I had heard people talk about this new cute "skater" guy who just started our school. One day at lunch, a friend pointed Justin out to me in the cafeteria. There he was with his dyed red hair in braids - soon becoming the coolest trend at AMS that year. My parents also live in Beaverdam and I can remember getting so excited when Justin sat with me on the bus on the way home. In high school we spent many hours together in classes. All four years we had the same homeroom and shared many art classes. I was really good friends with Hannah Kravitz and I remember how we would always make Justin come to TCBY, where we both worked, because he would mop the floors for us at closing time for a free Cappucino Chiller. After graduation, I was always guaranteed to run into him at parties during vacations and we would have so much fun catching up on where we were in our lives. I can still feel what it was like to hug him and I can still hear the way he laughed. As a 20 year old young woman, I can say there are many jerks out there, but Justin truly was one of the good guys. He taught me about friendship. He taught me about trust. I knew we would always remain connected even when our lives took separate paths. Now Justin has also taught me about grief and loss.
Sometimes I get so angry at him for all the sorrow he has caused. But, I am comforted by the fact that he knew I loved him and I knew he loved me. I know the next time I make it back to Asheville, it is going to be very hard visit. Beaverdam Road will never look the same to you or me. I know there is little to do to ease your pain except to tell you that Justin loved and was loved by many. I know I am a better person for having him in my life, and I will remember him always.
Erika Adelsbach
Hi, my name is Donna Norton. I am the daughter of Lena Jean Ray, cousin of Melanie Rice and Sheila Adams. I sing ballads with you guys, but I was also a classmate of Justin's. I just wanted to let you know what a great guy Justin was and will always be.
Justin and I started Asheville Middle at the same time and were in the same grade. When I first got to AMS (from Madison Co.) people picked on me and made fun of me. Justin was one of the first friends I made in Asheville and I will always remember him for that. We stayed good friends for a while, he drew me pictures, we were in a couple of rinky-dink school plays together, and I called him Pooh Bear. =) We grew apart over the years, yet still friends. I still have the pictures and the memories of Justin and I will remember him forever. I am terribly sorry for your loss. Just know that I think your son, brother, grandson was a smart, handsome and really nice person. I will truly miss him.
Donna Norton
My name is Kelly and I went to highschool and to ASU with Justin. It wasn't until a week ago that I discovered how you had preserved Justins artwork and photographs online. I was signing his and Jesse's memorial books in the ASU Student Union and I saw the address for you're web site. I really appriciate what you have done with the site, Jusin was such an amazing person and it's comforting to be able to veiw his pictures and artwork everyday. I know it's still under construction, but it's really wonderfull. I was also wondering if you were going to add a message board of some kind, for people to post memories and reflections of Justin. Once again, thank you so much for creating this web site, it's nothing short of amazing.
Justin was a great person to be around. Amazingly talented, and full of ideas, he made a difference in my life for the little time I knew him. And I believe now that he is and always will be one of my guardian angels. Te amo mucho, Justin,
Saralyn Ortiz
Justin was an amazing person. Incredibly talented, a great friend. He had love for life visible to all. I'm so glad we got to be friends. "A-Phi Love" Justin!
I love you,
Ashley Chunn
When I first met Justin I had no idea what to expect. Just one look at him and I knew he was full of life and was someone I wanted to get to know. Through our freshman year, Justin was always such a comfort during hard times. When a close high school friend of mine died in November Justin did not hesitate to call and talk to me. Your Justin always made me laugh and helped me adjust to being over 500 miles from home. I will always remember Justin as a kind and loving person. Thank you for him.
Emily McDermott
When I first met Justin in our Freshman Seminar class I knew that he was a special human being. The way he could enter a room and bring a smile to anyone's face. He had more life in him and got so much out of every day lived than anyone I've ever met. He used to pick on me for being tired during class every day and told me to get more sleep. I never will forget the last words I spoke to him while he was spray painting the tunnel. I had a friend die while we were in that class and Justin helped me see that it was OK to cry. He will always hold a place in my heart.
I love you so much, Love,
Leigh Vest
I'll never forget Justin for as long as I live. I was left with the memory of a last talk with him that has changed my life. The day before the accident he left a message on my machine recognizing the greatness of our talk and the last thing he ever said was how much he loved me. I listen to this message almost every day and it puts the biggest smile on my face. I love you Justin and thanks for sharing a part of your life with me!
love to the moon,
Erin Devlin
Justin was nothing but happy and fulfilled every time I saw him. The memories of him are great.

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