Online Thursday, July 11, 2002
Newport, Rhode Island - America's First Resort

Farewell to a 'poet and dreamer'

Tim Ferreira and his girlfriend, Becka Culver, both of Portsmouth, comfort one another following Wednesday's funeral. (David Hansen/Daily News photo)

By Wendy M. Fontaine/Daily News staff

PORTSMOUTH - It is the place where Barton J. Carroll might have gotten married someday or where he might have taken his children to be baptized. But on Wednesday morning, St. Barnabas Church was where hundreds of relatives, friends, former teachers and fellow soldiers gathered to say goodbye to the 18-year-old Marine.

Dressed in his dark blue military uniform, Carroll was laid to rest during an emotional two-hour Mass of Christian burial at the church where he had worshipped with his family and served as an altar boy. He was buried with military honors at Newport Memorial Park in Middletown.

Nine Marines escorted Carroll's casket into the church, where about 500 people filled the seats in three alcoves and stood along the walls. Teachers and students from Portsmouth High School, from which Carroll graduated in 2001, and soldiers from the Marine Corps, the Navy and the Naval Sea Cadets were among those who attended the ceremony.

Carroll began his military service shortly after Sept. 11 and had served nine months in the Marine Corps. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., where he was assigned to the 2nd Supply Battalion. He was driving home from North Carolina for the Fourth of July holiday when he was murdered Thursday in Middletown by a man who police said wanted to steal his car.

A memorial service for Carroll is planned for this afternoon at Camp Lejeune.

Third Platoon Sgt. Kenneth L. Blair said Carroll, at 6-foot-5, always stood out in his squad of 70 soldiers.

"I just want you all to know he was an outstanding Marine," Blair said during the service at the church. "He never complained and he always loved what he did."

Carroll enjoyed playing guitar, and the ceremony included two of his favorite songs, "Freebird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd and "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. He also liked fishing for striped bass around Narragansett Bay and scuba diving in the Sakonnet River and in the waters off Gooseberry Beach.

Friends remembered Carroll on Wednesday as a funny and loyal person who was more talented at writing and playing music than he was at telling jokes.

"I will always have a piece of Bart with me when I hear beautiful music," said Kevin Killavey, who was close friends with Carroll since they were in kindergarten. They had also been in a band together, he said.

"He was always there for me," Killavey said.

John Walker, Carroll's cousin, said he wished Carroll were there Wednesday to comfort him during his grief.

"He would know exactly what to say to make me feel better about it," he said.

During one of the ceremony's lighter moments, Desi Lopes recalled times spent with Carroll at the beach, when he would run naked into the water "just to make us laugh."

"There wasn't a moment spent with Bart that you weren't rolling on the floor laughing," said Lopes, who went to high school with Carroll.

During the service, Lopes and Killavey sang "One Sweet Day," a popular duet by Mariah Carey and Boys II Men. Kate Grana, a teacher at Portsmouth High School, and Cindy Killavey, Kevin Killavey's mother, also sang.

Edward Fitgerald, a retired Marine and a teacher at the high school, recited "The Marine's Prayer."

The Rev. Kevin J. Brassil shared his own memories of Carroll. He recalled the day when Carroll was baptized in the church and the many times he served as an altar boy. Brassil said he can still see Carroll walking down the aisle carrying the cross "higher than it has ever been held by anyone else.

"Bart was indeed the tallest altar server we ever had," he said. "He was indeed a poet and a dreamer, a wonderful person ... a singing hero."

Brassil said Carroll's life may have been short, but it was complete. He loved music and had many talents. He grew up with a loving family and traveled with them frequently. He pursued a military career and was a proud solider.

"It was so complete, so joyous," Brassil said. "It is here in this time of quiet mourning that healing must begin."

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