ODESSA -- The first victim of the Austin bombings, and his family, were honored in Odessa Saturday morning.
Photo Courtesy: Norrell Waynewood
“He would have been very proud of the team today. The efforts the team spurred, the coordination, the comradery among the kids,” said Melonie House.
Melonie House is the mother of Anthony House, the first victim of the Austin bombings. He passed away on March 2, after opening a packaged bomb delivery at his home.
House's family travelled from Austin, to Odessa, to honor his memory.
“We are creating memories. Positive memories, today. With the team, with the kids, with all of us here. It’s just wonderful, I can’t say that enough,” Melonie said.
When the family reached the football game, Anthony's mother and sister received a surprise of their own.
“I know I’ve said it like 5 times already, but I just don’t have the words to express how wonderful the feel is, and to be called captain mom. Look at this! Is just awesome,” Melonie said.
The team gave them jerseys, embroidered with the numbers 81 and 34, the ones House and his brother represented on the Pflugerville highschool football team.
The man who House called brother, Norrell Waynewood, described House's character.
“He was respectful, courteous, intelligent, he embodied what it is to be a real man. With his strength, with his support for his family, with his support for the community,”
The football coach organized the game to honor the family who changed his life.
“He inspired me definitely to know which way I wanted my life to go. How I wanted to be seen, how I wanted to be respected, by the way he was respected and by the respect he has shown others,” he said.
Waynewood didn't just organize a football game. He also decided to honor his brother's legacy by helping provide for Anthony's daughter, through a Gofundme account.
“When a parent passes, it puts the rest of the family in a certain predicament so…the gofundme is a trust set up for her education, for college, school programs in the summer,” he said.
The account has raised around $80,000 dollars. The family said they also appreciate prayers, and words of encouragement.
The football game went into overtime, and the Jackrabbits lost to the Monsters 24 to 30.