MUNSTER, Ind. — Funeral services were held Saturday for a 12-year-old boy who died after a playground accident this week in Munster, Indiana.
His parents called it "the most devastating day" of their lives, but decided to look beyond the darkness and send off their son with a colorful pink ceremony.
Chance Jurgens' favorite color was blue, his mother said, but "he loved the shock value of telling people that pink was his favorite color. ... He just did it because he thought it was funny. He thought it was hilarious. He liked to make people laugh."
Dawn Jurgens described her son as "a jokester, witty and funny."
That's why Saturday's funeral eschewed the standard black for shades of pink.
Chance, a spirited 12-year-old, died after a playground accident at Sunnyside Park, just across the street from the family's home. According to the Munster Police Department, Chance was in full cardiac arrest when officials found him about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday.
An autopsy is pending. Police do not suspect foul play.
Relatives declined to discuss details.
"Chance was a daredevil," Dawn Jurgens said. "Chance was constantly doing things that he was not supposed to do."
The sixth grader had Asperger syndrome, and one of his family's favorite memories involved Chance's photographic memory. He learned all of the U.S. presidents in order by the age of 2.
"As I’m cooking dinner one day, you hear him reading them off: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe … John Quincy Adams … it was amazing how his memory absorbed everything," Dawn Jurgens said.
Chance loved reading, ice cream and his White Sox jacket.
After his death, friends and classmates decorated his bus stop and tied pink ribbons to neighborhood trees. In lieu of a somber journey to the cemetery, Chance's family opted for a parade — complete with dozens of muscle cars, Chance's favorite.
“This is his very last moment," Dawn Jurgens said, "and I have to make it as big and as phenomenal as he was.”