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Remembering fallen Bobcats

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Remembering fallen Bobcats

A student visits Mr. Aaron

A student visits Mr. Aaron "Jack" Peterman's tabled memorial and looks through photos April 11 at the Bobcat Pause Memorial Service in the LBJ Ballroom.

Photo by Jaden Edison

Jaden Edison

A student visits Mr. Aaron "Jack" Peterman's tabled memorial and looks through photos April 11 at the Bobcat Pause Memorial Service in the LBJ Ballroom.

Photo by Jaden Edison

Jaden Edison

Jaden Edison

A student visits Mr. Aaron "Jack" Peterman's tabled memorial and looks through photos April 11 at the Bobcat Pause Memorial Service in the LBJ Ballroom.

Photo by Jaden Edison

Samantha Guerrero

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With heavy hearts and cheerful smiles, members of the Texas State community came together during the Bobcat Pause Memorial Service on Thursday to remember faculty, staff, retirees and students who have died in the last year.

Dining hall Viking Goddess Susie Mullen, Regents’ Professor Lawrence Estaville and the Iconic Village fire victims: Haley Michele Frizzell, David Ortiz, Dru Estes, James Miranda and Belinda Moats – just a few of the 40 fallen Bobcats honored at the event, hosted by the Student Foundation and the Office of the Dean of Students.

On April 11, tables lined the walls of the LBJ ballroom. Sprinkled on each table was a name card, a framed photograph, a Bobcat Pause-labelled bag filled with an enamel pin dipped in the San Marcos River and heartfelt trinkets. Families and friends poured into the room to remember loved ones. Laughter filled the room as attendees shared memories of their Bobcat daughters, sons, friends and colleagues.

Student Regent Leanna Mouton hovered near Estaville’s table. Lined with flowers, photographs and trinkets, the memorial most prominently featured a resolution from Nov. 16, 2018, naming Estaville as a Regents’ Professor that was signed by the Texas State University System Board of Regents, including Mouton. The designation is prestigious and is given to tenured full professors to award dedication to students and the university.

Mouton said she hadn’t known Estaville long at the time of the signing. He was fighting cancer at the time of the designation, and so the board was unsure if he could attend the ceremony. Estaville did attend the meeting in the end, and Mouton said his story and his strength moved her to tears then, just as it did again standing beside his photograph. Estaville died Dec. 20, 2018, with his wife, Sandra, by his side.

“I want to make sure his memories live on,” Mouton said. “I didn’t know him long, but his story was so powerful.”

When the viewing ended, guests were directed to a separate, larger room within the ballroom in which the service was held. Several administrators, including President Denise Trauth, and students spoke.

“Each person connected with Texas State has made an impact,” Trauth said. “They are all a part of our Bobcat family.”

Shortly after, each honoree’s name was called by a respective member of their community. Student Government President Alison Castillo read student names; Faculty Senate Chair Alex White read faculty names; Staff Council Representative Noel Fuller read staff names; Retired Faculty and Staff Association President Darlene Smith read retiree names.

“Once a Bobcat always a Bobcat,” Smith said. “Whether it be students or whether it be faculty or staff, we have literally put our heart and soul in the university. And I think that it’s important for us to recognize and acknowledge in memoriam the folks that have been a part of our community. I think it helps bring us together as a community.”

Upon reading the names, family, friends and colleagues stood up to receive a long-stemmed white rose, which represents remembrance and love, from Student Foundation members who lined the aisles.

“We want to float the flowers we received down the river today for her,” said Mari Silva, mother of Kate Silva Xavier, who was found dead Nov. 3 after being missing for over a week. “She would like that.”

VocaLibre, an acapella group from the School of Music, performed pieces signifying the strength needed to push through losing someone loved ones and the bonds that family and friends forge in order to have comfort.

The memorial ended with VocalLibre lining the aisles to perform the Alma Mater. Following, attendees left LBJ to gather the mementos left beside each honoree’s photograph, holding the roses and memories high with Bobcat pride.

Sawyer Click and Carrington Tatum contributed to this story.

The complete list and designation of each honoree are named below:

Students:

Dru Estes

Haley Frizzell

Brihanna Landrum

Michael Melton

Erin Miller

David Ortiz

Aaron “Jack” Peterman

Hailey Reyes

Jayde Sherbert

Brinkly Skinner

James “Stephen” Smith

Austin Tenpenny

Lesly Vidales

Faculty:

Jorda Acosta

Lawrence Estaville

Maria de la Luz Valverde

Staff:

Twyla Burleson

Mark Martinez

Susan Mullen

Jose Pineda II

Retired Faculty and Staff:

Benjamin Archer

Roger Bennett

John Burkhardt

Priscilla Crosson

Robert Englert

Ebaristo Esquibel

Juan Garcia

Henrey Guerrero

Herbert Hannan Jr.

David Nelson

Irene Ortiz

Mary Prado

Marla Pullin

Lee Smith

Walter Stevenson

Macario Suarez

Mahammed Ali Toosi

Mary Williams

James Yeary

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