From the Corner of Maxwell and Sharp Streets in McPherson down to the corner of Olivette and a little bit past, the 13 houses all have something in common. Physically, it is nothing more than a battery-operated candle placed in a window, but the candle is a symbol of something greater, the sympathy and admiration neighbors feel towards the Williams family who lost a daughter, eight-year-old Courtney, in September.
The family who organized this candle-lit memorial, Edee and Jim Boyer, have a granddaughter, seven-year-old Allie Hicks, who played with Courtney before she passed away.
“She was just a delightful little girl,” said Jim Boyer. “They looked for bugs, sang songs and had a good time together. Then, all of a sudden, of course, the poor young girl died and my wife felt bad about that, as had everyone else who knows about the situation. To have someone’s life ended at that age, is truly heart-breaking.”
Boyer’s wife, Edee, was particularly touched when she drove by the Williams’ home and noticed they had made an attempt to go on with their lives by putting up Christmas lights.
“My wife and I admired their attempt to go on with life,” said Jim Boyer. “But she didn’t want their neighbors to forget their loss, so she came up with the idea that we would go down to ACE Hardware and pick up 13 of those battery-operated candles and we proceeded to go to about 13 houses in close proximity to the Williams’ and ask people to display them in a window with an idea that the Williams family and others in the neighborhood, would see these little candles flickering in the 13 houses from that immediate area while they drove through the neighborhood.”
Jim Boyer said everyone they spoke with was very co-operative and though the Boyers didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, they hope that the Williams family has noticed their effort and has found comfort in the fact that others around them sympathize with their situation.
“It’s just a little simple thing done in our neighborhood to commemorate the girl,” said Jim Boyer. “And to let the family know other people are thinking about her too.”
Edee Boyer said her desire to show support for the little girl and the Williams family came from the fact that they had gotten to know her so well and their granddaughter in particular, wanted to go around and see the candles lit for her lost playmate.
“She asked me the other night to take her up and down the street,” said Edee Boyer. “We drove slowly so she could see the candles in each house,  it was nice for her too. I haven’t talked to them since then, but I think this was a way, in my mind, to show them that other people remembered as well.”