Those who knew Jake Fausett say he was proud of being part of the Chamber Singers at Dawson County High School.
The sophomore was planning to travel with the group to Atlanta on March 11, where the singers were scheduled to perform at the state Capitol.
But a single-vehicle wreck March 10 on Hwy. 136 changed those plans and claimed the life of the promising 16-year-old who was the son of Randy and Roxanne Fausett, the principal at Robinson Elementary School.
The Chamber Singers sang two songs Saturday as friends and family gathered to say goodbye to Jake Fausett during his funeral at First Baptist Church of Dawsonville.
The Rev. Russell Burt encouraged those present to “hold fast to this life,” and for young people to make the most of their time on earth.
A lifelong resident of Dawson County, the teen also participated in the school’s drama department and was a former member of the cross country team.
According to chorus director Spencer Wright, Fausett was so happy and proud to be a part of the chamber chorus, a traveling choir made up of about 50 high school students.
“He was a big part of our lives,” Wright said. “He made light of just about every situation, and will truly be missed. He made an impact on my life and I am glad to have been a part of his.”
Dawson County High School Principal Wayne Chelf agreed.
“Jake was a great kid with a great sense of humor, the kind of kid I really like working with, his mind was working all the time,” he said.
Chelf said he encouraged the singers to do their Atlanta performance “for Jake.”
“He would have wanted them to follow through with their plans,” he said.
As Burt officiated Saturday’s service, he reflected on Fausett’s love for life and music, describing the young man as a person who was “unique, and one who marched to the beat of a different drum.”
Fausett was critically injured March 10 after he lost control of his 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis on the way home from school, authorities said.
The teen, who authorities say was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the car when it left the road. He died of injuries the next day at Atlanta Medical Center.
Fausett’s death was the second teen traffic fatality in two weeks in the county.
On Feb. 23, Tyler Hutchison, 18, of Dawsonville, was killed when he was ejected from a vehicle on Coltrane Road. He also, according to authorities, was not wearing a seat belt.
Counselors were on hand last week to help students and staff at Robinson Elementary and Dawson County High School cope with Fausett’s death.
A member of Goshen Baptist Church, Fausett was preceded in death by his grandparents, Randell and Doris Fausett.
In addition to his parents, other survivors include his older brother, Zachery Fausett, and grandparents, Bill and Hilda Chester, all of Dawsonville; uncle, Stuart Chester of Cartersville; and cousins, Ryan Chester, David Chester and Laura Chester.
Staff Writer Michele Hester contributed to this report.