Cars lined the roads leading to Open Arms Fellowship Church, where hundreds of family and friends gathered Thursday morning to say a final goodbye to Mallory Beach — a teen remembered for her kindness.
“She went early; she went young; she loved her family; she loved her friends; she loved her rescued pets,” the Rev. Nelson Foster said during Beach’s funeral service. “I’m blown away by the legacy this teen woman leaves behind.”
Beach, 19, was killed during a boating crash on Feb. 24 in Beaufort County.
More than 500 filled the church that sat at a crossroad in Beach’s hometown of Hampton — a town with the population of about 2,800.
Olivia Boyles, a friend of Mallory since high school, remembered Mallory as having a personality that is hard to forget.
She was bubbly and “always in a good mood.”
“Even if you met her one time, you’d remember Mallory,” Boyles said. “(She was) the kind of person who was always hugging everyone when you saw her in the hall. She was friends with everyone. If you were kind to her, she would be kind to you.”
Randy Beach, Beach’s uncle, shared similar sentiments about his niece.
“The one thing I will always remember (is) her sweetness and kindness to everyone,” Beach said Thursday. “... Every time you ever saw her she had the biggest smile.”
That big smile is going to be missed, her uncle said.
“Christmas, family reunions, birthdays — she would light them up with her smile,” Randy Beach said.
Beach graduated from Wade Hampton High School in 2017. She completed a semester at the University of South Carolina and had plans to attend University of South Carolina Beaufort next semester because she wanted to be closer to home.
“She was really a homebody,” Boyles said.
Family and friends especially remember Beach as someone who loved animals.
Boyles said Beach once cried after hitting a raccoon with her car.
Years ago, when Beach was a freshman, her dog Lillie had gone missing for several days.
“I remember driving on a dirt road and I found her dog when I was going to my Nana’s,” Boyles said. “I called her immediately and I just remember how happy she was.”
Beach and her whole family showed up on the side of the dirt road to get Lillie.
“She was bawling and bawling,” Boyles said of Beach. “My gosh, that girl loved animals. She had such a big heart.”
The experience showed Boyles just how much the dog meant to Beach.
“They say the good ones go young, you know?” she said. “She really was a good one.”
While the service touched on memories of Beach, a plea for the acceptance of Jesus Christ was largely a focus.
Beach’s father, Phillip, has said he hopes the tragedy can inspire others to “know Christ” the way his daughter did.
The Rev. Foster used words scribbled on a chalkboard hanging in Beach’s room to show the depth of the teen’s faith.
“Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope. He’s going to do great things,” the writing on the chalkboard said.