When a young person passes away, it creates a tremendous hole in the lives of the people left behind. In Isabella Angelina Scavelli’s case, her life ended in a senseless criminal act, and this leaves her family searching for answers as well as the entire community. While law enforcement still searches for the perpetrator, it will be difficult to find closure. However, focusing on the light that Isabella brought into the world amplifies her legacy of joy and love and diminishes the evil that took her away.
At Isabella’s Celebration of Life on February 18, 2023, Words of Encouragement were delivered by Pastor Chris Fullam.
He said, “From everything that I learned this week and everything that I’ve heard talking with many of you and just subtly over these last several days. I’ve learned quite a bit about Isabella.
I just want to share a little with you and encourage you. I’ve been asked by the family to just take a moment to speak, hoping to encourage every student, every young adult, and in all honesty, everybody in the room.”
He said that one thing he learned about Isabella is that she was a lot of fun. “If you walked into a classroom or into her presence and you were down, chances are an impromptu dance party would start. And she had a knack of lifting people’s spirits and bringing peace into a moment.”
He gathered from the people he spoke to that she was incredibly outgoing, welcoming, and loving.
He said that while learning about Isabella, he was reminded of the story of a young prophet in 1st Kings Ch. 13 who delivered a warning to King Jeroboam and was killed by a lion on his journey home. This young man had a lasting impact, and like Isabella, he also passed too soon. He said that even though the prophet’s life was short, his legacy was not. His words lived on, and the prophecy he delivered unfolded 320 years later.
He said, “Isabella’s death does not cancel out her life.” He stressed that her legacy lives on through the impact she made on the lives of others.
He said, “Allow me to challenge you this afternoon. Whatever Isabella was for you, be that for somebody else.”
Isabella Scavelli lived from sunrise on Aug. 19, 2005, to sunset on Feb. 18, 2023. She attended Hernando High School, where she played tennis, served in student government, and was a member of JROTC. She was in eleventh grade and had plans to join the military after graduation.
Pastor Bill Pope Jr. delivered her eulogy. “We’re here today on behalf of an unjust act… A life was taken… families disrupted.”
He said, “See the 17-year-old child right here, never had a chance to experience life. But God sees all.”
He said her loss could leave hatred and anger in our hearts, but as men and women of God, we’ve got to abide by the laws of the land. God has put people in place to do the due diligence that needs to be done.
Pastor Pope said we have to learn to seek the salvation of hope. He said that there was a young man that brought joy into so many people’s lives. But one day, hatred and jealousy settled within the heart, and they made a decision to crucify this young man.
This left many in fear. Now in Brooksville, many are asking, “Am I next?”
“But I want you to know that God has got us in the palm of his hand.” He stated that the man did no wrong and this child did no wrong.
“This child was just trying to be a teenager.”
Pastor Pope reflected, “I want to let you know that we’ve got to let the fruits of the spirit exercise themselves in our lives. We can’t allow hatred to come inside… we got to remember who we are and whose we are.”