Recent graduate remembered by school community
March 14, 2017 • 149 views
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Radiant. Happy. Approachable. Excited for life. Charming. Equivalent to sunshine. Thoughtful. Kind. Generous. Talented. Fearless. Friendly. Bright. Intelligent. Loved. These words are some of thousands that can be used to describe 18-year old Taylor Nichole Luther-Swiney. Though no matter how hard anyone can try, no amount of words will be able to explain the feeling of her presence and spirit.
On Sunday, Dec. 4, Taylor was involved in a car accident and passed away shortly after due to her injuries. She is an alumni of the class of 2016 and her passing has affected an entire community. Taylor was very involved while in high school and created many relationships throughout the years. She participated in band, Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), and Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE). She was incredibly dedicated to her extra-curricular’s and was a student admired by those who taught her.
“Taylor was one of the sweetest young ladies I had the opportunity to teach,” teacher and HOSA sponsor Cathy Miller said. “She was always happy, nothing ever got her down. We always got off subject in class because we all liked to talk and visit. I had the opportunity to teach Taylor in Nutrition, Principles of Health Science, and Medical Terminology. Taylor was active in my HOSA group and served as Vice-President her Senior year.”
Vice-President of HOSA isn’t the only leadership position she held. Taylor also served as Vice-President of TAFE and had the honor of being appointed as First Lieutenant of the color guard during marching season her senior year and Co-Captain her junior year for winter guard.
“If there’s anything I know about Taylor Luther, it’s that she was always smiling,” former color guard instructor Brittany Tawater said. “If she were here she would want us to continue life and continue making music. She brought us all such joy.”
Taylor was known to be approachable and a comforting factor to those in color guard. For junior Lilli Fair, Taylor quickly became a friend and mentor when Fair joined guard her freshman year. Taylor instantly became a stronghold to Fair.
“The very first time I walked into the band hall I saw Taylor talking to Lauren and I knew from that very moment I wanted to be her friend,” Fair said. “I was lucky enough to become one of her best friends, I wouldn’t trade that for the world. If I was ever having a rough day, I knew I could find her and she would make it better. She could just smile at me and I would feel better. She didn’t have any enemies and she loved everyone with her whole heart. She was my whole heart. She taught me so many wonderful things about life that I will take with me every day. I was her mini-me and she was my wanna-be mom. Which sounds funny, but it’s true. I’ll miss her so much, but my love for her will never diminish. She’ll never be forgotten.”
She also played in Wind Ensemble as a bass clarinet. Taylor proved to be a great musician and played an important role in the band program through her talent and personality.
“Taylor’s beautiful heart and love for life proved to be infectious,” head band director Jose Ochoa said. “She left a positive impact on our band program and our lives that we will always cherish.”
After high school, Taylor moved to Nacogdoches to attend Stephen F. Austin State University. She planned to major in Education and minor in Sign Language. She quickly found her place at SFA and was making the most of her college experience.
“I had the opportunity to visit with Taylor at SFA in Nacogdoches when the Battlin’ Bear band participated in marching contest back in October,” Miller said. “Taylor was nervous but excited about attending SFA. Her goal was to become a teacher and to be able to teach deaf children. Taylor would have made an excellent teacher, either teaching young children or teaching dance steps for color guard.”
Regardless of all Taylor had going on, she made her family her first priority and an important part of her life. She had three younger sisters, Madison, Kayla, and Josie and a younger brother, Cameron. She was very close with her immediate family and her distant family.
“Taylor’s love for her family was indescribable,” senior Chase Courtier said. “It was like she didn’t need anyone else but her family to love. More specifically, her siblings. They all love each other unconditionally. Every time that she would leave for college and I would be over they would almost be in tears watching her walk out the door. Taylor also always, always, always respected her parents no matter the situation. Even if it did make her a little upset, she would be understanding and respectful towards them. She loved them so much.”
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