Life of student remembered

Amber McKenna

Editor in chief

Linfield student Sumner Thomas will be remembered after his tragic death last month. The memorial will be held on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 4 p.m.

Thomas, 18, died by his own hand Aug. 11 in his hometown of Boonville, Calif.

Before transferring to Linfield last spring as a sophomore, Thomas attended Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., and completed his college preparatory work at Midland School in Santa Barbara County, Calif.

Thomas was a brother of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

“He was a positive guy who wanted to get along with everybody,” junior Evan Hiles, Kappa Sigma president, said. “The impact he had after only being here a semester is impressive.”

Thomas came to Linfield to play midfield on the lacrosse team. Along with lacrosse, he also liked underground rap music, playing basketball for fun and being active overall.  His friends agreed he was an engaging person with a full-speed-ahead approach to life.

“As long as he was with his friends, he loved just hanging out,” Hiles said.

Associate Professor of Education Bob McCann was Thomas’ advisor. Thomas was a strong student who intended to major in elementary education with a minor in Spanish and had planned to go abroad to Costa Rica for a semester, McCann said.

Chaplain David Massey is planning a memorial service for Thomas with the help of members of the lacrosse team, the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and other students. The service will not be formal, Massey said. It will be held outside at a location that is yet to be decided. Students will share stories about Thomas, and a tree will be planted in his memory as part of the ceremony.

Massey said the aim of the service is to express gratitude for Thomas’ life as well as offer those who knew him the opportunity to remember the vibrant young man he was.

“Tragic deaths are hard,” Massey said. “It’s important to gather together and support one another as we move forward.”

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