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Funeral held for teen who committed suicide

April 2, 2012 2:28:11 PM PDT
Funeral services were held in New Jersey Monday for a 15-year-old boy whose suicide may have been the result of bullying.

Lennon Baldwin was a championship bowler and he spent a lot of his free time at the Plaza Bowling Lanes.

His coaches say he was always happy there, but they wonder if this was one of the only places where Lennon wasn't bullied.

Friends and family carried the body of 15-year-old Lennon Baldwin out of his funeral service Monday.

More than 500 people came to the Morristown United Methodist Church to remember the boy who loved animals, skateboarding, and video games.

"The service was amazing and beautiful and very much a tribute to the family," a mourner said.

Lennon, a freshman at Morristown High School, died in an apparent suicide last Wednesday at the home where he lived with his parents and older brother Robby.

Friends have speculated online that Lennon was bullied to death.

The pastor who led Monday's funeral urged mourners to treat people more kindly.

"Everyone is pointing fingers, who's at fault, everyone is at fault," said Reverend Neill Tolboom, of Morristown United Methodist Church.

Lennon's brother sang and played the guitar at the service, and his father managed to push through his grief to deliver a eulogy urging teens to turn to their parents for help.

"Kids need to go to their parents and parents need to be open so their kids can talk to them," Reverend Tolboom said.

At the Plaza Bowling Lanes, where just a month before his suicide Lennon had scored a 258, his coaches remember him as an outgoing, happy kid.

Anthony Parisi says there were no signs anything was wrong, even when he was saw Lennon four days before his death.

"You couldn't tell if he was having a good or a bad day because he was always having fun with his friends. There was no bullying here, just good kids, good parents," said Anthony Parisi, bowling coach.

The Morris County Prosecutor's Office is investigating whether there was bullying elsewhere and Lennon's obituary hints at some trouble socially: "What Lennon really wanted was to be loved, respected, and accepted by his peers. Now Lennon is finally at peace."

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