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Death of Tyler Cross of the University of Texas gains national attention

First report

Honoring Tyler Cross’s memory
Excerpt–The Towers is a West Campus dormitory known for its rowdy rooms and high freshmen fraternity occupancy. Cross, a Georgia native, was a member of a fraternity at UT whose staple party is this weekend.

 Family eulogy

From the family memorial: On November 17, 2006, our precious son, loving brother, devoted grandson, and loyal dear friend, Tyler Cross, suddenly left his time with us here on Earth to join our Lord God in Heaven. Tyler only had 18 short years with us, but lived life to the fullest and brought so much happiness and joy to his family and to everyone who had the honor of knowing him. He was the type of son that every parent dreams of having. He made us so very proud in every way. And he was so very close to all of his many classmates and teammates and felt so lucky to be a part of an extremely close-knit group of friends from high school as well as the many new friends he had already developed in college. He would not want us to cry for him, but would want us to remember all of the great experiences that we all had with him, celebrate the wonderful life he led, and rejoice that he is now with our Father above.
Tyler Garrett Cross was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 3rd, 1988. He graduated from the Lovett School in Atlanta in May 2006, where he was an honor student, a football and lacrosse team captain and leader, and President of the Men’s Chorus. He received numerous athletic and academic awards and recognition including being named the 2005 GHSA Peach Bowl Scholar Athlete Scholarship Award for Region 5-AA. He was twice selected for the Team Georgia All Star lacrosse team and was named First Team All State Midfielder in 2006. He was a member of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church and active in the Buckhead Young Life organization. Tyler was accepted to a number of great universities, but fulfilled his dream of following his big brother, Colin, to the University of Texas in Austin. He was majoring in Engineering at UT, had pledged SAE fraternity and was playing on the UT Club Lacrosse team. In a very short period of time, Tyler had made a large impact in the school community at UT where a candlelight vigil was held for him on Friday evening and attended by hundreds. Tyler is survived by parents, Debbie and Don Cross; one brother, Colin Sanders Cross; a half sister, Candace Cross Suechting, her husband, Steve and their children, Sophie and Sam of Denver, Co.; his maternal grandmother, Flo Sanders, of Kentwood, Louisiana, Uncle Dennis Cross of New Orleans Louisiana; and first cousins, Alexandra Cross, Stephanie Robles and Allison Vencil. Tyler also leaves behind his first and only love, his high school sweetheart, Catherine McCalley. There are so many wonderful words that describe Tyler: happy, friendly, fun, always smiling, loyal, loving, warm, outgoing, bright, athletic, smart, level headed, steady and very dependable. He was truly beautiful inside and out. While it is so hard for those he left behind to understand, we know that there is some reason that God needed him upstairs instead of down here with us. The family will receive friends on Monday, November 20th, 2006, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., at H.M. Patterson and Son, Arlington Chapel, 173 Allen Rd., Atlanta, GA 30328 (Sandy Springs, GA), (404-581-9900). Funeral Service with reception following will be held on Tuesday, November 21st, 2006, 2:00 p.m., at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church, 4385 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, GA 30068, (770-971-2880); Dr. Randy Mickler and Reverend Steve Allen of the Lovett School presiding. A private burial will be held at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. Contributions may be made in Tyler’s memory to: The Tyler Cross Memorial Fund, The Lovett School, 4072 Paces Ferry Road, N.W. Atlanta, GA 30327, (404-262-3032); or to a charity of your choice. Arrangements by H.M. Patterson and Son, Arlington Chapel, 173 Allen Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30328, (404) 851-9900.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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