Students, family and other loved ones gathered in memory of 18-year-old Paul Joseph “P.J.” Mansmann during a candlelight vigil Friday evening at Springtown Park.
Mansmann, who was going into his senior year at Springtown High School, died in a single-vehicle wreck last week near Azle.
“P.J. was to be a senior this upcoming school year and set to graduate with the Class of 2020,” read a post on SHS’s Facebook page. “He will be missed by countless students and staff alike. Our hearts go out to P.J.’s family in this time of sorrow and heartache.”
A memorial service was held for Mansmann on Sunday at Hilltop Family Church in Springtown.
During the vigil, classmates, co-workers and family shared their memories of Mansmann. They described Mansmann as a hard worker with a big heart.
“I’m sorry that I’m shaking up here, it’s just so surreal that this has happened to one of us,” Ana Davila, who took French class with Mansmann, said.
William Happel, who took welding classes with Mansmann at SHS, said he saw Mansmann at Brookshire’s a few days before he died. Happel said Mansmann always had a smile on his face.
“I should’ve gave him a hug,” Happel said. “He was a good kid. I hope y’all have fond memories of him. I’m really going to miss him.”
Springtown Community Fellowship Pastor Bodie Beaman shared a few Bible verses during the vigil and encouraged attendees to seek God during the tough times.
“I’m just going to be real with you, this hurts,” Beaman said. “I’m praying that this will allow us to wake up a little bit and get our priorities in line because listen, none of us are promised tomorrow, wouldn’t you agree? The Bible says, life is but a vapor, you’re here one second, you’re gone the next.”
Mansmann’s parents, Paul Mansmann and Kimberly Quirk, attended the vigil as well and shared about their son.
“I want to thank y’all for organizing something to remember my son and for all the love and support that’s been shown to my family,” Paul Mansmann said.
Paul Mansmann asked people to continue sharing stories about his son.
“We would like to have the opportunity to hear from you and how he touched your life, if he touched your life,” Paul Mansmann said. “He meant the world to us. I still can’t believe that this is real.”
Alyssa Kimbell attended the vigil and said her son was friends with Mansmann when they were younger.
“I can’t imagine what you guys are feeling,” Kimbell said to the family. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”