By HOLLY WARREN
Ashley Jean O'Rear, who had been selected
as a 2002 Olympic torchbearer, died Saturday at her Waxahachie home
after a four-year battle with cancer. She was 14.
Services will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Waxahachie
Civic Center, 1950 N. Interstate 35E at State Highway 287 in Waxahachie.
Burial will follow at Mount Peak Cemetery in Midlothian.
Ashley was nominated as a torchbearer because of the
strength and spirit she showed through her illness, said her father,
Paul O'Rear of Waxahachie. She was scheduled to carry the torch Dec.
12. Her father said he or his son, Justin, will cany the torch in Ashley's
Olympic freestyle skiing champion Nikki Stone presented
Ashley with her own 2002 torch Nov. 19, the same day the Olympic torch
was lit in Greece.
Ashley participated in many school activities, including
Future Farmers of America; Future Homemakers of America; the One-Act
Play team; Drama Club; choir; Student Council; yearbook staff; city
league basketball; and Girl Scouts.
"She didn't sit still. Even when she was sick, she
couldn't sit still," Mr. O'Rear said.
Ashley was first found to have a brain tumor in 1997
at age 9. After surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, it seemed
she had beaten the disease. An MRI on Sept. 11 showed the tumor had returned.
In addition to her father and brother, Justin, Ashley
is survived by her mother, Susan O'Rear; and
grandmothers, Bettie O'Rear of Bryan, Texas, and Laverne Moore of Manor,
Memorials may be made to the Ashley O'Rear Fund at Citizens
National Bank in Waxahachie; Future Farmers of America; South Ellis County
4-H Club; American Cancer Society; the Make-a-Wish Foundation; or the
Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids with Cancer.