Emotions ran the gamut Saturday afternoon, from laughter to tears, as Jordin Tenk's family and friends gathered at the Ferguson-Vernon Funeral Home to say goodbye.
Cars lined both sides of the street and the parking lot was full to overflowing, as the family received visitors from 2-6 p.m. and a police officer directed traffic outside.
Fifteen-year-old Jordin’s body was found Oct. 28 in a heavily wooded area of Hamburg Mountain, having been reported missing from his family home in Hardyston on Oct. 25.
He was believed to have a handgun at the time of his disappearance and expressed a desire to self-harm.
According to police, a handgun was recovered from the scene.
Christopher Goritski, 16, and Alanna Evanks, 15, said they both knew Jordin from Vernon Township High School, where they were students together.
“He was a very good friend of mine,” Christopher said. “I’ve missed a lot of school.”
Alanna said she spent time with Jordin during their lunch period at school last year.
“I’ve been in school,” she said. “It hurts me to see a lot of my friends are very upset.”
Both teens said they didn’t know how much Jordin struggled with depression.
“I knew that he was pretty depressed, but I didn’t know how far it went,” Christopher said. “He was pretty close with his feelings.”
Amid the collages of family photos, yellow lapel ribbons were everywhere Saturday, as people were encouraged to wear the suicide awareness marker in remembrance of Jordin.
The Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program, located in Colorado, raises awareness about and works to prevent youth and teen suicide, according to the organization’s website.
The program began in 1994 as a response to the death of 17-year-old Mike Emme.
Yellow became the program’s symbol when teens began tying yellow ribbons in their hair and pinning them on their clothes and hats on the day Mike died, in memory of him and his beloved 1968 yellow Ford Mustang.
When asked what they would like people to remember about Jordin, both teens said that he was a good friend.
“He was really funny, with cheesy jokes,” Alanna said. “Nice.”
Christopher paused a minute before answering.
“Some people may have seen him as a bit of a loner, but, to people who knew him, he was a fun guy to be around,” he said. “He was a real good person.”
The Ferguson-Vernon Funeral Home is located at 241 Route 94 in Vernon.
“Some people may have seen him as a bit of a loner, but, to people who knew him, he was a fun guy to be around. He was a real good person.”