Feedback: Gouverneur Marine's Family Upset Over Funeral 'Nightmare'


It's been one week since Marine Private First Class Skyler Way was found dead in a car submerged in canal near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Nearly a thousand miles away in Gouverneur, his family isn't only dealing with the loss, they couldn't find a place to hold the funeral.

"It's been a nightmare, stressful.  Things have been tough. Things haven't really been going the way we expected it," said Shannon Way, Skyler's mother.

The family says Skyler wasn't religious and wouldn't have wanted his funeral to be in a church.

The family's first thought was to have the ceremony at the Elks Club.

But the club has a wedding booked this weekend.

That was just the first place to say no to the family.

The next "no" came from Gouverneur High School, where Skyler graduated in 2012.

Our calls to the district to find out why haven't been returned.

The family turned to the fire hall, but the answer was the same.

"The Gouverneur fire station is just a garage. We don't have the accommodations to hold something like a funeral. There's no way that we could possibly do that," said Steven Young, fire chief.

Since that call, the fire department says it has received messages from the public blasting the decision.

Skyler's family doesn't care about all that.

It just wants to say goodbye to their son in his hometown.

"He couldn't wait to get out of Gouverneur. That was the thing he wanted the most, was to get the heck out of here. And then when you asked him recently, 'Skyler what do you want the most?'  'I want to be home,'" said Shannon.

Mayor Ron McDougall said he's working to help the family.

"The village is limited for venues of this type for what's being requested, but we'll try and work around it," he said.

McDougall said he has offered the family a police escort for the funeral.

The family said late Tuesday afternoon it will have the services at the Elks Club on Sunday and Monday when the club is available.

That will require the military to change its plans, which officials told the family is possible.

Skyler Way is due to come home for the last time on Thursday. (Read his complete obituary here.)

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Monday, December 5, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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