Last Friday’s tragic accident claimed its third life Wednesday morning when Adair County Middle School student Raquel Anyega passed away after spending several days in critical condition at UK Medical Center. While the community continues to mourn Raquel’s loss, friends and teachers say they will cherish their memories with her for the rest of their lives.
Raquel was a promising young athlete, competing last year for ACHS’ track team as a seventh grader, but friends say they’ll remember her most for her vibrant personality. “Her eyes would light up a room,” says Ruthanna Logsdon, who met Raquel in kindergarten and has been one of her best friends ever since. “They always looked so happy, and that’s what I’m going to miss seeing: her eyes.”
Several others commented Raquel’s eyes as well, saying they held a captivating sparkle. “She could just make eye contact with you and then if she’d laugh, you’d have to start laughing too,” says Karen Clark, another classmate and friend. “We had so much fun together – sometimes we’d stay up until 5 in the morning cooking and listening to music and watching TV. I’ll miss everything about her.”
In her 14 years, Raquel left quite an impression on both her peers and her teachers. Sherry Cook, a Title I instructor at ACMS, had Raquel in class in both sixth and seventh grade, and says she was a wholly unique individual. “Every day when I saw her I always said, ‘Hi, beautiful,’ and then she’d give me that bright smile,” Cook says. “She really was too, beautiful inside and out. I loved her, and I told her that regularly. I don’t know how anyone could’ve known her and not loved her.”
Jamie McQueary, who taught Raquel last year as a seventh grader, shares a similar sentiment. “I know that we’re not supposed to have favorites, but she was one of them,” McQueary says. “She had a beautiful smile and such a sweet personality that drew everyone to her. She absolutely loved her friends and family. She loved life.”
Raquel was not known to take herself – or much of anything else, too seriously – and friends say they will miss her attitude and sense of humor. “Her laugh, it was crazy,” says Jasmine McClintock, who, like Logsdon, met Raquel when they were in kindergarten. “She was so funny; we could do anything together and make it fun.”
In addition to her joyful and entertaining demeanor, another common theme that emerges in conversations with Raquel’s friends is loyalty. “She cared a lot about her friends and was never one to turn her back on you,” says classmate Billy Salmon, who sat beside Raquel in class and often ate breakfast with her in the mornings. “She was just an amazing friend. I’ll miss her.”
The entire Adair County School District expresses its deepest condolences to Raquel’s friends and family.
By Wes Feese
Media Relations, Adair County Schools