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Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 08:05 pm


June 2, 1993 – Nov. 26, 2010


Malik Hines, a Springfield High School senior who, along with freshman Zena Garcia, died in a car accident in November, was known for his talents and for his unique sense of style. But what at least two of his friends will remember most is Hines’ smile.

“I’m pretty sure that his job here [on Earth] was to make everyone happy,” says Tyler Scanlan, who met Hines when he was about three years old. Scanlan thinks back to first grade when he hit his friend because he took his ball. Within 10 minutes, the two were laughing again. Hines’s easygoing and magnanimous nature was a constant in his friendships, Scanlan says.

Even those who didn’t know him well benefitted from his presence, says David Thomas, another lifelong friend. “He was always smiling. He’d brighten the mood of anyone he was around,” Thomas says.

An athlete (soccer and track) and a musician (trumpet and piano), Hines was talented and ambitious. Thomas says Hines seemed to change his mind often enough, but his latest goals included working in foreign affairs and brain science. “He could have done it and he would have been good at it too,” Thomas says. “He was a smart kid when he applied himself.”

“He’s an intelligent, loving, caring individual. He really did care about others and he probably could have changed the world, if he hasn’t already,” Thomas says. “If you were just around the kid for five minutes you would see this kid was always smiling, always laughing, making other people laugh, spreading joy.”

“He came here to fulfill a purpose – to make everyone’s life happier,” says Scanlan. “We all wish it [the accident] didn’t happen, but he fulfilled his purpose on Earth.”