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Midlo Scoop

Wyatt Fowler Memorial Ceremony

Coach Phillip Gross, Fowler’s football coach, speaks at the memorial ceremony

A memorial ceremony in honor of Midlo student Wyatt Fowler was held outside the school in the memorial garden on Friday, April 26th. Fowler died in a car accident on December 30, 2023.

Dr. Shawn Abel opened the ceremony at 3:45 by explaining the story behind the memorial garden. For every student or staff member who passes away while attending or working at Midlo, a brick is placed in the memorial garden engraved with their name. He then invited Coach Phillip Gross, Fowler’s football coach, up to say a few words.

Gross spoke about the word “passion”, a word many people associated with Fowler. Gross told about how Fowler’s passion for football, his family, and his inner circle of friends was a very inspiring thing to see. He also shared that he kept a picture of Fowler in his truck to encourage and inspire him.

After Gross, Fowler’s aunt, Carrie Thompson, spoke. She reminisced about how Fowler had been silly, funny, and adventurous as well as his gift for making people feel loved and seen. Several attendees had to laugh a little as she spoke about Fowler being the life of the party, even in class.

To close the ceremony, Fowler’s two cousins, Kash Fowler and Tanner Thompson, placed a brick engraved with Fowler’s name in the memorial garden. During this time, a recording of Fowler singing the song “Coal” by Dylan Gossett was played, with his friend Alex Redford on guitar in the background. The recording had been made just before Fowler had passed away.

Multiple staff members and students at Midlo mentioned Fowler’s ability to take care of those he cared about. “If you were in his circle of friends, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for you,” Gross said. Fowler’s P. E. teacher, Ashley Heyden, also mentioned this.He loved to take care of other people the best he could in his own ways. He was just really sweet,” Heyden said.

Gross also shared a memory about a time when the football program was going through a rough patch. “We were talking with the team about looking out for one another and that kind of stuff, and I’ll never forget that Wyatt actually caught me in the hall and said, ‘Coach, I know you’ve been looking out for everybody else, but are you okay?’ And the fact that he would take the time to make sure that I was okay was pretty special,” Gross said.

Gross wasn’t the only one who remembered Fowler’s thoughtfulness. “When he would come in, late for school, he would confide in me of, like, certain issues, and stuff. He’d be like, ‘I just, I have to talk to you. You’re the only person I can talk to because I know you’re gonna be honest with me.’ I’m like, ‘Well, you’re right. I will.’ And so he would confide in me, and it was nice to see that he actually thought my opinion to be worth value,” Heyden said. 

“He was definitely a leader, a lead-by-example kind of guy,” Emily Pfund, Fowler’s English teacher, said. Pfund also remembered how Fowler would often stop by to see her during her free period. “He would somehow get out of class, and he would knock on the English workroom door, and he would act like he had a homework question so that we would let him in, and then he would come in and sit down and put his feet up on the table and just hang out with the English teachers. He would trick us. He’d be like ‘I really have a homework question!’ So we would let him in, and then he would just hang out,” Pfund said.

Fowler’s close friend, Malik Toliver, also shared a memory of Fowler. “I was at the movies with him one time, and I’m kind of falling asleep, laying down, and he dumps a whole bucket of popcorn on my face,” Toliver said.

Toliver wasn’t the only one who had a humorous memory of Fowler. Alexis Crosby, 10, remembered the time she’d spent with Fowler in English class. “Every single class, when Ms. Pfund would be talking, he’d be on Facebook Marketplace showing me different cars. And Ms. Pfund would be like, ‘Wyatt, stop,’ and he’d be like, ‘Alexis, can you please look at this truck? It’s really cool!’”

Fowler’s friends and teachers all spoke of the way that he was able to get along with others. “Wyatt had this way of smiling at you and putting you at ease,” Gross said. “Even if he was in trouble, he could disarm things real quick with his quirky smile.”

“If you didn’t know Wyatt, like, he had a reputation as kind of a troublemaker, but he’s one of those troublemakers that everyone just loves. You can’t even really be mad at him,” Pfund said.

“I always appreciated his honesty and his forthrightness… He was just a great guy,” Gross said.

Wyatt Fowler will be greatly missed by his family, friends, teachers, and the rest of the Midlo community.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Tonn
Olivia Tonn, News Writer
Class of 2027 Olivia Tonn is serving her first year on staff. She enjoys reading and writing in her free time.

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