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Robert Delaney, 18 -- Car Accident

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Hundreds of Battle Creek Central High School students packed a downtown church Wednesday morning for the funeral of classmate Robert G. Delaney.

Some stood in the back of St. Philip Catholic Church as Delaney, 18, a BCC senior, was remembered by friends and family.

Delaney died Saturday when his pickup truck crossed the center line on M-37 in Bedford Township and slammed into a minivan driven by a 25-year-old Battle Creek woman, who also died.

Jessica Delaney, Robert's sister, eulogized him as "that bright-eyed, cackling, goofy kid" who was "my big baby brother."

Through tears, she said he was always "trying to use that twinkle in his eye and charm to get out of situations when he knew he was getting into trouble.

"Yeah, that's the Robert we all know."

As she spoke, sobs swept through the pews packed with teenagers.

"I know that it is very difficult for all of us to be here today," the Rev. Chuck Fischer of St. Philip told the mourners. "It's certainly deeply sad, very hurtful within. We carry with us so many pleasant, positive memories of Robert Delaney."

Fischer said, "Seeing hundreds and hundreds of classmates and students and friends and co-workers of his parents here certainly will be a memory for them of how wonderful Robert's life has been. And how sad this very sudden loss."

Delaney's funeral took place in the same church where he was baptized in 1987, Fischer noted.

After the funeral, police blocked traffic at Van Buren Street and Capital Avenue as the crowd poured out of the church



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