Service, vigil set for Thursday

Published 10:14am Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hours after Wetumpka High School wrestler and football player Shalom Nowden is laid to rest, community members will be given the opportunity to honor his memory with a candle light vigil.

The vigil for Nowden, who drown near the area he and friends and fellow teammates were swimming Wednesday afternoon, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in front of the school’s flag pole followed by the lighting of the candles at 8 p.m.

Nowden’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. the same day in the new WHS gymnasium followed by a graveside service in Hillside Cemetery.

While Nowden is remembered as an athlete, most remember the 15-year-old’s smile.

“Shalom will be greatly missed by all. He was a tremendous young man and a blessing to everyone he came in contact with. His huge and sincere smile was contagious,” wrote Tina Ballard Leonard on the Herald Facebook page.

This marks the second open vigil in front of the school in less than two years to mark the passing of a former Wetumpka High wrestler.

Gil Collar was shot and killed by a University of South Alabama police officer outside of the school’s police station. Collar was a freshman at USA at the time.

Since Nowden’s passing, there have been two accounts set up to help Nowden’s family with the funeral cost.

One account is in his name at First Community Bank in Wetumpka and the other is being handled online at with the account available at

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