Classmates worried about the future of beloved memorial markers - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Classmates worried about the future of beloved memorial markers

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Former classmates grow concern for the memorial on the Myrtle Beach Learning Center's property, in fear it too will be demolished for the new school.

A beloved memorial, no where near forgotten. Old classmates are working to make sure the memorial dedicated to teachers, and students who have long passed, stays when everything around it is demolished for a new school. The memorial just beyond the front doors of the Myrtle Beach Learning Center is dedicated to five people who would come there every day to learn or teach before they passed.

The memorial garden started in the 1980's back when the school was Myrtle Beach Elementary after a 5th grade girl, Candice Edge, died tragically in a house fire. One of the classmates who started the memorial when Candice passed, Chris Dunning heard of the plans to demolish the building and immediately wanted to make sure the memorial would stand.

"It was intended to stay there to let people know that Candy, to everyone who came after us, that Candy was a friend of ours, and you know needed to be remembered," Dunning explained.

Dunning says Candice Edge passed away weeks before her 10th birthday.

"Candy is a classmate of ours, and we've went, and a lot of us fund-raised money to put that plaque out there in her memory. We carried Candy with us all through our school career, and when we graduated, in our senior year book, we had a place in our year book to remember candy," Dunning said.

Part of the Old Myrtle Beach High School graduating class 1987, Dunning remembers how his dear friend lost her life in the house fire when they were just 9 and 10-years-old. Dunning says Candice went back in for her puppy.

"...and if I remember correctly they found both of them underneath the bed, cuddled up together, and in fact, they were laid to rest together," Dunning said.

"Everybody was shocked, it happened over the weekend, we came back Monday morning, and the news just spread through the school quickly," Dunning remembered.

Even though it happened at such a young age, Dunning describes Candy to be the nicest friend you could ever have and she isn't the only one remembered in the memorial garden.

"Joyce Abston, she was a mother of ours, she taught at school at the elementary school. Joshua Haley, came after us, he just started third grade, he was killed in an accident. Chantalle Boling, she was a teacher at the adult education school and was killed in an automobile accident. Maggie Oehlschlager, she was also a teacher at the adult education center," Dunning listed.

Dunning says memorial has stood strong, even as the building has been re-purposed over the years.

"If they keep it when they build the new middle school, that's going to be another 30, 40 years before anybody has to worry about it. and if they add more to it, maybe down the road when they are talking about tearing that school down, somebody else will pick up where we left off," Dunning said.

Dunning hopes the new school will incorporate these beloved memories and the memorial will stand on the property with the new school.

The spokesperson for Horry County Schools, Teal Harding, says as of now they are taking the memorial into consideration in the new school's design plans.

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