Dozens of community members gathered Wednesday at Quitman High School for a memorial in remembrance of senior Stephen Love.
Love, 18, died Sunday morning in a one-vehicle wreck on Texas Highway 154, about 10 miles east of Quitman.
The preliminary investigation revealed that Love’s 2010 Chevy Camaro left the road and traveled 500 feet off the road before running into several trees.
Many tears were shed at the memorial as his loved ones shared stories about him, a slideshow played with pictures of his life and Scripture was read.
Football coach Ronnie Webber described Love as a beautiful person.
“It was my honor to be one of Stephen’s coaches,” Webber said. “But more accordingly, we were friends and being his friend made me want to be a better person.”
Tears fell from Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Bryan Oakes’ eyes as he told members of the audience to use the pain of the tragedy as inspiration to be better.
“Glorify Steph through your life,” Oakes said. “I can tell you that my life as well as others is better for having known Steph. His kind heart, his contagious smile and passion for living is what I take with me.”
Oakes shared with the audience a conversation he had with Love last week. In the conversation, he told Love that God did not make mistakes.
Oakes shared the story to inform the audience that even in a hard time right now, his statement to Love still holds true.
Love was born June 11, 1999, in Cebu City, Philippines, and he and his mother moved to Quitman eight years ago.
When Love first moved to Quitman, he was described as quiet but over the years he broke out of his shell and made many friends all over the community.
He was very active in sports, playing safety on the Bulldogs varsity football team among athletic endeavors over the years.
Love also had a passion for traveling with his mother and spoke three languages. His dream was to attend college after graduating.
Love left behind his mother, Chalmalyn Love, of Quitman; father, John Love, of Dumaguete, Philippines; three half brothers; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
A CLOSER LOOK
A GoFundMe was created to help Stephen Love’s mother with expenses. The link is https://www.gofundme.com/memorial-fund-for-stephen-love.