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Family and friends say goodbye

2 Price boys who died in Carbon flash flood are remembered

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PRICE — It was an emotional farewell Tuesday for the two boys who were killed in a flash flood last month.

Friends, family members and others, some who had never even met the boys, attended the services here for 5-year-old Levi Blye Seal and 1-year-old Jayden Tyler Seal. A standing-room-only crowd packed into the small auditorium at Mitchell Funeral Home.

Jayden and Levi died after a 20-foot wall of water hit the Ford Bronco the family was riding in near Garley Canyon on July 30. Jayden's body was swept away and, as of Tuesday, had not yet been found.

The boys' 2-year-old sister, Brooklynn, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening in the accident. She was expected to be released from Primary Children's Medical Center this week.

Members of the Carbon County Sheriff Office's Search and Rescue team as well as Sheriff James Cordova attended the services.

Family members gathered around Levi's open casket for a prayer to begin the ceremony. His parents, Josh and Courtney, were the last to take their seats as they arranged a few items in his coffin and then bent over to kiss and hug Levi one final time before the coffin was closed.

Levi and Jayden were remembered as bright boys whose infectious smiles always raised the spirits of those around them.

"I'm going to miss his smile and the twinkle in his eye," Mary Bishop said of her grandson, Levi. "He'd bring me flowers. . . . It didn't matter what kind. I miss holding his hand."

Bishop joyfully recalled playing the "I love you most" game with Levi in which they would randomly pick items and tell each other "I love you more than sandwiches" or even "I love you more than underwear."

Tears flowed throughout the audience as several video tributes were played. Pictures of the boys from their first day of life to family vacations were shown on a video screen, accompanied by songs like "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "You Are So Beautiful" and "When the Sun Goes Down" by Kenny Chesney, Levi's favorite song.

Randy Bishop, the boys' grandfather, looked at the coffin as he offered a few words to the congregation and spoke to his "little buddy" directly.

"We've been very blessed to have two wonderful little boys with us for a short time," he said. "You touched a lot of people's hearts. We know you're together. We love you and I know you love everybody. I know you're going to help us, help especially keep an eye on your mom and dad."

The boys' aunts, Chrissy and Brittany Bishop, wrote a letter to Levi, recalling how much he loved digging for bugs, running through the sprinkler, playing video games while eating popcorn and calling them.

"It's hard to imagine I'll go home and you won't be there to call," Chrissy said.

With tears flowing, Chrissy Bishop talked about how the family would never know what Jayden's favorite song was or what his favorite color was.

"Lucky you, Levi, you're with him. You get to learn all those things about him we'll never know," she said. "Hold on to your brother close."

A reverend and pastor at the ceremony offered words of comfort to the grieving family, acknowledging there will be feelings of guilt and frustration that will be hard to overcome.

"There are no words to describe what happened to these brothers," said the Rev. Nancy Boswell.

Levi would often point to things in the sky such as a plane or ball and ask his grandmother if it was as high as God.

After the service, a graveside dedication was held at Cliffview Cemetery. There, about two dozen colorful balloons were handed out to family members and members of the Carbon County Sheriff's Office. The balloons were let go at the conclusion of the service to show that the boys had now climbed as high as God.

Courtney Seal burst into tears and clutched her husband's arm tightly as she let go of her balloon and watched it join the others as they floated over the picturesque landscape.

The sheriff's office said it would resume the search for Jayden's body in a couple of weeks.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com