Cheerleaders, family, friends stay #SyracuseStrong and pay respects at funeral

Tuesday , August 19, 2014 - 2:54 PM

SYRACUSE — It was evident from the crowded church house and the dedicated honor guard of cheerleaders, that the family of Marli Hamblin had no shortage of love and support in their time of mourning.

The funeral earlier for their beloved daughter was full of emotion as family members spoke about their favorite memories of the adored daughter and sister, many of which contained both humor and sorrow.

An entire community came to mourn the death of  the 15-year-old Syracuse High School cheerleader, who died August 10 after she was accidentally run over while sunbathing in her driveway.

The meeting room, which was standing-room only, laughed and sobbed with the speakers.

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Hamblin's cousins and siblings talked about the joyous girl who was always laughing, and that although she was sometimes a pain to deal with, they could never stay mad at her.

“To say she was proud of her body, is an understatement,” said sister Janci Hamblin, who described Marli as athletic and driven in all of her activities.

Marli was also known as a “daddy’s girl,” much to the playful chagrin of her siblings, but who were also compelled to do her bidding whenever she flashed her sweet smile or laugh, older brother Braden Hamblin said.

“She had a great love of life and she wanted to live it to its fullest,” Braden Hamblin said.



With Marli’s non-stop goal to experience life to its potential now gone, the siblings hope to carry on her spirit in their own lives.

“Now I will strive to have a life that Marli would be proud of,” Janci Hamblin said.

Her parents saw their daughter as a girl with a great love of life, who was multi-talented.

“She really put a spell on us all,” Travis Hamblin said. “The Miracle of Marli really took place 15 years ago. Her love will forever be in my heart.”

Marli’s mother Lisa Hamblin said her daughter had a way with small children who she often played with, putting on dance concerts with the neighborhood toddlers in her basement.

"We will miss her zest for life,"  Lisa Hamblin said. "She was such a joy to our family."

During the service, several of Marli’s friends sang the Celine Dion song, “My Heart Will Go On,” and her aunt Cambria Panter performed the piano piece, “River Flows in You.”

After the funeral services at the local LDS Syracuse West Stake Center, the family was surprised with the alignment of nearly 300 cheerleaders from different schools, who greeted the funeral procession on its way to the cemetery. Nearly every cheer team from Weber and Davis counties stood at attention as the procession passed Syracuse High, with pom-poms raised.

Family friend Melissa Paine organized the 24 teams who heard of the procession through word-of-mouth. 

Paine said she got the idea from the honor guards that fallen police officers receive, and that it would be perfect for Marli Hamblin who was deeply dedicated to cheerleading.

The cheer teams for Syracuse Junior High and Syracuse High served as a special honor guard at the Syracuse City Cemetery where Hamblin was laid to rest. 

The funeral concludes an outpouring of public support for the family who is said to be well known throughout the community.

On Saturday, Syracuse High cheerleaders held a fundraiser and raised more than $10,000 for the Hamblin family.

Donations for the family are still being accepted at the “Miracle for Marli” GoFundMe site.

Condolences may be sent to the family at: www.lindquistmortuary.com.

Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or arivera@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.

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