Last Thursday, Oct. 20, numerous friends and family gathered at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Great Falls to say goodbye to Michael Joseph Greenway.
The 20-year-old McLean resident perished on Saturday, Oct. 15 when he lost control of his vehicle on Kirby Road at approximately 5:15 a.m. According to police, Greenway was driving his 2005 Volkswagen Jetta northbound on Kirby Road when he went airborne as he entered a curve just north of the intersection of Kirby Road and Clairborne Drive. Greenway's car landed in a nearby creek, and he was pronounced dead when police arrived at the scene. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.
Greenway, a 2003 graduate of Langley High School, was studying music at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. Many of his classmates traveled from Pittsburgh for the funeral services.
"It makes me and my family so happy to see that Michael was loved by so many, and it would make Michael so happy to see that he was loved by so many," said brother Chris Greenway.
Michael Greenway is survived by his parents Wes and Linda Greenway, his brothers Chris, George and Wesley Greenway, and sister Catherine Greenway.
In a tearful farewell to her brother at the close of Thursday's service, Catherine Greenway said "Michael, there are so many things I want to say to you ... I am so proud of you."
Father Alexander Drummond presided over Greenway's remembrance service, and he urged those in attendance to value the memories they had of Michael Greenway in life.
"Michael is no longer with us in body, but he will always be with us in spirit," said Drummond.
He lamented Greenway's untimely death, stating that "there is nothing more unnatural than for a parent to have their child's death precede theirs."
"I often hear people complain about growing old, but it is much better than the alternative which is to die young," said Drummond. "There is joy in growing old ... life in the here and now is a pilgrimage, and Michael's pilgrimage was shorter than most."
WHILE HE WAS AT LANGLEY Greenway was awarded first place for outstanding musical interpretation in the Virginia State Reflections Competition for his musical composition of "Concerto Under Fire." He was also the pianist for the Langley High School musical productions, and he performed a piece at his high school graduation ceremony at D.A.R. Constitution Hall.
"When I first got to know him, he was mid-way through his junior year," said Langley principal William Clendaniel. "It was just like all of a sudden here is this student with this musical talent ... and you're thinking, man where has this kid been for the last few years."
Greenway also studied piano at the Levine School of Music in Washington D.C., in addition to the Boston Conservatory of Music and the Indiana University summer music program. Gregory Sioles was Greenway's piano teacher at the Levine School of Music, and remembers him as "a very bright and interesting person."
"He was a gifted musician, and I think more gifted than he gave himself credit for," said Sioles. "He had a wonderful flair for performance — he always did his best when he got up to play in front of people ... and he also carried it very lightly. He was kind of modest about it and shrugged things off."
Sioles taught Greenway for approximately a year and a half and helped to prepare him for his Carnegie Mellon auditions.
"He was very candid which I appreciated. He just said whatever was on his mind and he always had a vaguely amused expression on his face about life as it was going on around him," said Sioles.