Jul. 13—A memorial service has been scheduled for the Lassiter High School student and her father who were killed by an alleged wrong-way driver late last month, the school's parent-teacher association reports.
According to police and media reports, the Rountree family was driving home from vacation in Florida when they were hit head-on by someone driving south in the northbound lane.
Elizabeth Rountree, 17, and her father Chris Rountree, 53, were pronounced dead at the scene. The family's mother, Erica Rountree and her daughter, Cate, were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
PTSA Co-President Niki Palmer told the MDJ on Tuesday that Erica and Cate Rountree have since left the hospital and are recovering at home.
Palmer said Erica is "healing well," and is up and moving, albeit slowly. Cate, meanwhile, will require more follow-up care, including more treatment and physical therapy.
Palmer also noted that those who plan to attend next week's memorial service shouldn't "shy away from colors, team support wear (or) anything that honors Chris & Libby Rountree the way they lived."
"... The family would love it if people attending just wear what makes them feel comfortable," she said.
The service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 22, at east Cobb's Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church, 4385 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta. The service will be streamed, beginning at 12:55 p.m. according to a Facebook post by the Lassiter PTSA.
Lassiter PTSA also noted that the high school's Go Day — a meet-and-greet type of event at the school when students pick up schedules and parking passes, take pictures for the yearbook and explore clubs and organizations — is being held the same day. But, the post says, students planning to attend the Rountree memorial service can show up to Go Day at any time throughout the day.
A Go Fund Me page set up on June 28 for hospital and funeral costs for the family had collected nearly $75,000 by Tuesday afternoon. The listed goal was $5,000.
A second page, set up by Rebecca Whicker, a colleague of Erica Rountree's, lists a fundraising goal of $250,000 for "long-term" recovery and medical costs, or, as the post describes it, "the reality the day they both step out of that hospital and begin the long journey faced by survivors."
Whicker writes that "another friend who suddenly lost her husband explained that she needed this much or more to care for her children, pay medical bills, other expenses, etc."
Whicker told the MDJ she didn't want her own Go Fund Me to "get in the way of the momentum" of the "wonderful" work the community around the Rountrees were already doing on the separate page. The Naples, Florida resident who said she'd known Erica Rountree for around 20 years, said she hoped her page would gain traction with people around her.
She called Erica Rountree a "person of really strong faith" and "one of the most positive people I've ever met in my life."
"Her main focus is always — just as it is right now — to help others. She's such an inspiration, the way she's handling things and focusing on others and her daughter and all of those young people who were Libby's friends, about their well-being," Whicker said. "In light of everything that's going on with her, that's her focus, is others, and I think that her faith will carry her through. ... She is always focused on the positive, and that's what's making the difference for her, I think."
Lassiter PTSA's post on the memorial service says, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Libby Rountree Memorial Scholarship Fund at www.lassitersoccer.org/libby. To share a memory of the student or condolences to her sister and mother, visit stanleyfuneralhome.com and search Libby Rountree and Chris Rountree in the "obituaries" tab.
Follow Thomas Hartwell on Twitter at twitter.com/MDJThomas.