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'That's how I'm remembering him' | Charlotte-area faith leaders mourn loss of 2 WBTV team members in helicopter crash

Jason Myers and Chip Tayag both died when the Sky3 chopper crashed along I-77 on Nov. 22.

MINERAL SPRINGS, N.C. — The community continues to mourn the two lives cut tragically short in a helicopter crash in Charlotte Tuesday. 

WBTV-TV pilot Chip Tayag and meteorologist Jason Myers' friends and colleagues have said both men had a strong faith. Each of them had a church they called home. 

Myers' father was a pastor who spent time at multiple Methodist churches around the United States. Faith leaders closer to home offered condolences to the family. In particular, a congregation where Myers spent his elementary years in Mineral Springs - near Waxhaw - is grieving. 

TIMELINE of the deadly helicopter crash

"His father was the minister, his mom Susan was here and Jason was a little boy," Marilyn Wooten, the Mineral Springs United Methodist Church Associate Pastor said. 

A little boy remembered for his smile and energy. 

Credit: Mineral Springs UMC
Jason Myers (R) stands beside a childhood friend in Mineral Springs, NC.

“You see him running around and it was just great to have him here," Kelly Smith, a church member said. 

This childhood church is where Jason first met his wife, Jillian Myers, when they were kids. And the sorrow that comes with his death has multiple layers to it.

"Jillian's family still lives right down the road. Jason and Jillian have a home, right in our neighboring community," Wooten said.

Chip Tayag was a devout Catholic who worshipped at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Indian Land

"He was very much a faithful, faithful follower of Jesus Christ. His whole life was marked by following the Lord Jesus, so in terms of kindness, love, compassion, mercy," said Father Jeffrey Kirby, the church's priest. 

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Witnesses to the crash say before the chopper went down, Tayag circled the area to avoid hitting nearby buildings or the highway. 

"He would go the extra mile the way that he sought to show compassion, and of course, heroic deeds, such as the nature of his death," Kirby said. "All of that was born from and sustained by his Catholic faith in belief and total discipleship to Jesus Christ." 

The deaths of both men are a shock to Charlotte, but how they lived their lives remains a comfort to everyone they knew. 

"He had an amazing smile, he had a way of being witty in every situation and could always find the positive or the cheerful in every situation. And that's how I'm remembering him," Kirby said. 

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Both men leave families behind that loved them. 

"The people in this church and in this area, are feeling heartfelt sorrow for them. Very emotional about what they're going through. But we're trying to remember those good times, and the times when we can smile," Wooten said. 

Now, family and friends are remembering both men for their lives, not their deaths. 

Supporting Jason Myers' family 

A family friend has launched a GoFundMe for the Myers, with all funds toward funeral and memorial expenses. It has far surpassed its original $15,000 goal as donors have contributed more than $70,000 as of writing.

If you feel called to give, you can do so at this link.

WBTV announced a visitation and funeral for Myers will take place this weekend. A visitation will be held at Carmel Baptist Church in Matthews on Friday starting at 5 p.m. and the funeral will be held in the same location Saturday at 11 a.m., according to WBTV.

Supporting Chip Tayag's family

A family friend has launched a GoFundMe to help Tayag's family with funeral expenses. As of writing, almost $5,000 of a $15,000 goal has been raised.

If you feel called to give, you can do so at this link.

WBTV has shared plans for Chip Tayag's memorial services. Visitation will be on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at Palmetto Funeral Home in Fort Mill, South Carolina from 6-8 p.m. His Mass of Christian burial will be held at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Lancaster, South Carolina. His family asks that donations to HOPE in Lancaster County be made in lieu of flowers.

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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