The following piece was submitted by WKVI Intern and Knox High School student, Makayla Dillard.
We’ve all heard the saying, “only the good die young.” This was undoubtedly proved true this past Monday night. The tragic untimely death of Drew Shearin affected the entire community. His life touched nearly everyone’s life in some way, shape, or form. He was the nicest young man, the most successful young musician, and the most talented young actor. But that’s just it – he was so young. As Ms. Miller, his best friend’s mother, said, “God needed someone to teach the angels how to play music.” The amount of people that showed up to his candle light vigil Wednesday evening was absolutely incredible. “Each of the candles represented someone that he touched,” said Ms. Miller. And that was inevitably true. Drew Shearin’s life affected hundreds upon hundreds of people. Everyone from his peers, to the entire community.
Tuesday may have been the most depressing day in Knox High School history. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing tear-filled eyes. From staff members to students – everyone was devastated. Yet, they pulled together. For Drew. On Wednesday anyone who had a band or play t-shirt wore one in honor of Drew. The majority of students also expressed their grief by painting a “D” on their cheek. The Knox High School Graphics students also created buttons, stickers, and papers that said “In memory of Drew Shearin 8/01/94-10/10/11.” Some girls got orange feathers in their hair, because orange was Drew’s favorite color. One student, David Williamson died one of his chops orange for Drew. There is no doubt that Drew would’ve been proud of everyone’s efforts and the way everyone’s been working together to honor him.
Some comments from students (some not even from Knox) and other members of the community are as follows:
Mikinzie Wilson, a classmate of Drew’s said, “I remember when Drew, Emily Porter and I went to the All Star Band thing and when it was over we saw his twin. This kid looked exactly like him and his name was Drew too! Then we went to Indiana Beach and rode all the rides with our new friend Jacob. We went and got the really tall slushies and we would drink until one of us got a brain freeze. That was a really fun day.”
Jonnie West, another classmate said, “I remember sitting in spanish class and Drew sat behind me. He was always so into spanish and would always volunteer to do something, whether it was translating something or speaking aloud. He would also draw pictures on his paper and tap me on the shoulder to show me what he had drawn. Then he would laugh like crazy. He also had this girly voice he would talk in when he was given a feminine part to speak in spanish. He was so funny in spanish and he will be greatly missed. I regret that I did not have more time to spend with Drew and get to know him better, but as they say “Only the good die young.” Everybody loves and misses you Drew.”
Brittany Rowe, a cast and class mate of Drew’s said, “I have so many memories with Drew, and I miss him so very much. He was such a beautiful person and a great friend that I am so eternally grateful that I was able to call him one of my friends. He was my prom date last year and one of the things I remember most about that day is the fact that we stayed the night with Heather and I had soo many bobby pins in my hair that he had to help me take them out and i don’t know why but it was just hilarious because I looked like a mad woman by the time he was done. Then there was the time when we went for a bike ride over the summer and just talked about our problems and our lives and laughed, because it was impossible to be around Drew and not laugh. He kept getting distracted by squirrels at the park and then decided that since we were both broke and thirsty he was going to flirt with the lady at the concession stand to get a free drink…..needless to say it didn’t work and the “lady” was a guy. He was there for me whether I was having guy troubles, or missing my grandma, or just needed a friend. I remember he told me that he was going to ask for my help in creating lyrics for the music he composed and I felt so honored by that. I could keep going, but I wouldn’t have enough time to properly show how much influence and effect that Drew has had in my life, but I will say this……he was an incredible person and friend that I love and I will miss stopping by Subway to say hi and get a hug, I will miss seeing his little white car that says “whoo go band, and Liz and Britt were here” because we wanted to cheer him up for band, I will miss punching him in the arm when he walks past my desk in Pre-Cal, I will miss his laugh and our conversations, but most of all I will miss my talented, crazy, funny, sweet, smart, lovable friend Drew Shearin. He will always be in my heart. I love you Drew.”
Sarah Horstmann, who was in marching band with Drew said, “Before Drew and his family moved, he rode my bus. And one day I was not in the best of moods, trying to block out everything with music. Drew comes up and sits next to me with the big goofy grin he always had on his face and says hey. I just nodded and turned away still listening to music. So he decides to pull out my headphones, and say “What is wrong?” He made me tell him what was wrong and by the time we got to the school I was smiling too. I love Drew so much and will miss him dearly…”
August Hatter went to elementary school with Drew and this is what she had to say, “Me and Drew shared our birthday. When we turned 16 I was like jeez drew, you’re so dang old!! And then we laughed and I said we were twins. In elementary we were best friends. Before sophomore year there was a group who went to Ancilla College. He got the idea to spray our campfire with bug spray in order to get it lit. And we had a water fight. He made friends with our friend Jackii. He was a great kid. And funny. Courageous. I’ll forever love him.”
Elizabeth Winterrowd, a fellow dancer and classmate of his, was asked what her favorite memory of Drew was replied with this, “My favorite memory with Drew would have to be doing his hair at recital and dancing with him in our opener, I love you drew! And I miss you dearly!”
Nathan Upchurch, a fellow cast mate of Drew’s said, “I remember when Drew, Aaron Shackleford, Julianna Richey, Brittany Shannon, and I went to Indiana Beach together. Drew went on the “den of lost thieves” ride alone, when he came out at the end of it, he was pointing the plastic “guns” in the air and shouted “I’m a crab!!!”
Aaron Shackleford, a band mate of Drew’s had this to say, “During the Earth Rise season in marching band back in ’08, the trumpets and mellophones made shirts for the homecoming parade. 6 trumpets and 4 mellophones, so we had 5 trumpets with ‘EARTH’ spelled out in their line, a line with the middle having a star, and then the mellophone line spelling ‘RISE’. Drew and I were the R’s. When I left for CMA that year we assumed that I probably wouldn’t be able to see most of the people in town again, so Drew and I had a ‘last word’. It consisted of us saying ‘R’ a few times before we both left. When I came back to Knox late in the marching season we were glad that ‘R’ didn’t have to be our last word and that we didn’t have distance separating us. We resumed our friendship as always…but now I’m the only R, and this time he can’t just come back. I miss Drewbie. He was my brother. Also 2 years ago during play practice, he decided to get a drink at the fountain by the auditorium during a break, and right after he finished his drink he was assaulted by someone that heard an incorrect rumor. I jumped in to intervene the attacker and managed to stop everything before Drew took too many hits, even though I took enough for him. The entire time Drew never threw a punch, never cursed at his enemy. It would’ve seemed like a simple fight intervention if he had not turned to me after all the tumult, clutching his jaw, grin on his face, and saying with a playful tone, “Well that sucked!””
Austin Risner, yet another classmate of Drew’s wanted to say this to Drew since he never got the chance to, “Drew, I know we never really hung out as much as we wanted to, but I just loved the times we had in Mrs. Kubasyk’s class, they were good times. I miss seeing you smile and making me laugh and you being there for me when I need you. I wish I could just hug you one more time and say goodbye. I’m not ready to let you go bud, I’ll always miss you forever and ever, and even though you are up in heaven I know I’ll see you soon. Love, Austin Risner”
Sheldon Hubbard was an old band mate of Drew’s. He moved to Rochester almost a year ago. When asked about his favorite memory of Drew, this is what he had to say, “My fondest memory of Drew was getting to be in the Knox Redskin Brigade and attending Knox High School with him and getting to experience him in all of his greatness. Whether he’s portraying a beef-head surfer dude or playing beautiful music on an array of instruments, I will always rememebr Drew as being a lively, loving individual. He was one of the best and brightest people I knew. I love and you miss you Drew! You are forever in ALL of our hearts!”
Anthony Chasse, another classmate of Drew’s said, “I would have to say the memory I remember is when I walked into subway and saw him with a sash on that said, “Subway Dancing Queen.” Why do the worst things happen to the best people?! I hardly knew him, but I wish I would have talked to him more and had gotten to know him better. His family and him are in my prayers. R.I.P. man you’re loved by everyone.”
Jose Resendez, another band mate of Drew’s said, “I remember when we were in 7th grade. Honestly, I don’t even remember how, but we became really good friends. And I remember going to his house, and we sat in his room and played guitar hero, pretty much all day. And we would just laugh every time we failed a song. And we would play Cliffs of Dover, and would make up the corniest lyrics for it. And then after we decided we were done with guitar hero, we went and watched tv. and there was nothing good on at all. We went through every channel, and laughed when we saw the ‘late night’ channels. And then the next day, we went to some relative’s of his, and watched them tear down this big barn/house thing. And I remember his grandma kept calling me sexy teeth.”
Hanna Ehlinger, another classmate, said, “In English class when we were picking roles for ‘The Crucible’ he didn’t know that I had already chosen a part, Abigail Williams. He was John Proctor, and when it was time to pick his wife Elizabeth Proctor he pointed across the room to me and he said “Hanna!!!!!” It made me giggle so much! Eighth grade year, all year he tried to get me to hug him and I was always shy and never would. The very last day after the slideshow when I was crying I finally gave him the hug he’d been asking for. I wish I could give him another hug,” Hanna also wanted to say this about Drew, “We’ll all miss him so much. I hope he can see all the love from up there. Spanish, Math, and English won’t be the same without him. Our school isn’t the same without him…. I’ll miss him being silly in Spanish & that occupied seat. All the tears and hugs were for him and he deserved it. One day we were Spanish and he found a mustache sticker and I was so jealous. I’m glad he was in the Dance Recital last year, I put the picture of him, Kara, and I as my profile picture. The one where he wanted to be the awkward one in the background. I miss his humor. And that crazy laugh of his. He didn’t have one enemy, everyone who got to know him adored his personality. I wish I could sit down in Spanish and look to the right and he’d be there again. Or turn the corner in Subway and there would be my favorite sandwich artist. He had so much going for him and he was already so successful. He touched everyone’s lives! Miss you so much Drew! Rest in peace, buddy! We all love you!”
Brittany Davis, a friend of his said, “I went on a trip with Drew to Ancilla and he did ballet dances with a twig around the bonfire and tell us it was okay to eat twigs? Haha, then when the fire wouldn’t light he told us to use bug spray to light it. I went to Drew for everything and anything and would know he was there no matter what. He’s probably the greatest person I’ve ever met, or one of the greatest. I’ll never forget the impacts he made on me. He means the world to me and I love him, will miss him dearly”
Yesica Delara, another classmate, said, “This year’s Ironman was so much fun with him. The Juniors didn’t have a coach, so I volunteered and I thought it was going to be so lame. But Drew made it so much fun. When the freshman were cheering we would go “lets go sophomores”, we forgot that we were juniors. We got fourth place but me and Drew just kept laughing the whole time. At the end, I asked who was going to do it next year, and they all said yes. Drew said that we were going to win for sure. Thanks Drew, you made getting 4th place soooo much fun!”
Megan McCarty, yet another classmate, said, “Drew Shearin! Way way way way way to many words to Describe this young fella! He was an amazing friend, a great person. He did sooooo many things to help people. I think of it as You either liked Drew or you loved Him! He always had a smile on his face and was always laughing! You are the greatest person i know and i love you so very much! Thanks for everything you have done!”
Tyler Feece, another band mate said, “I remember one time during the 2010 fall play, Matt Neuer was laughing (his laugh is hilarious to listen to) and so Drew and I started laughing too (Drew and I also had really weird funny laughs) well the three of us kept laughing until none of us could possibly laugh any more……but Drew still managed to continue to laugh. My favorite memory of him.”
Adam Jaworski, another band mate, said, “I remember one time I went to Drew’s work (Subway) and got a sandwich and I payed seven dollars and fifty cents all in quarter and dimes, but mostly in dimes. Drew was like “Really? Come on Adam. Really? Wow.” He was laughing so hard.”
Chandra Krueger, another class mate, said, “Drew was my seat buddy to Washington D.C….. my goodness. He was watching a movie with this little headset and i didnt know it.. he started cracking up laughing, i had no clue why! I was so tired so i just kicked him and then we started getting in this play war of hits Then i got aggravated and made him sleep on the bus floor :p all the while he literally SANG to me the whole way there! Once we reached the great Hardy’s i remember exactly what he said. “Chandra, oh sleeping beauty its time to eat some foody. ohhh because we need food to survive!” he sang that to me in the funniest tune and sang it over and over again…. I miss my bus buddy. Drew also was going to be mine and Anna Haskins dance partner for our trio this year… For a Justin Beiber act/dance… He was so willing to try anything, anything at all… Drew was like my big brother, he always said i looked beautiful and about every night we would say ‘goodnight gorgeous guurrllllll’ (we both thought it was hilarious because it started with all G’s… we always “fought” about who should be making sandwich’s in our “marriage.” Him the professional sandwich artist or me ‘the woman’ There is many other memories but these were just some of my favorites… ohh i miss him so much. Love you Drew, i cant wait to see you again!”
Samantha Forsythe, a classmate, said, “My favorite memory of Drew is at my sister Catherine’s sixteenth birthday party when he and Makayla were acting out a scene from the Titanic in our pond. She was laying on a raft and he was in the water, holding her hands. I will never forget that day.”
Anna Bradney, another classmate, said, “I can count on a hand of how many talented people I know….and he’s number one. He captured the heart of so many people. His words were always so encouraging, and that smile of his, could put anyone in a good mood. I remember riding the bus home last year with one of my friends, and the whole ride home was a blast, because of him. He had so many hopes and dreams, and goals for his life…& even though he’s up in heaven, shining down on us, I KNOW he’s going to fulfill all those dreams. Life may not be the same without him here, but thats the thing, we aren’t without him…He’s always in our hearts, minds, thoughts, and memories. He’s always with us some how. He had a gift, many gifts, at that. Drew was the kind of person that if you were his friend, he made it worth while getting up everyday for school. Rest In Paradise Andrew Shearin.”
Miranda Howard, a classmate, said, “Drew was one of the funniest people you could ever meet. No matter what he was doing he would find something out of it that would make it fun. He could always get people to laugh. Even if he didn’t say anything. Just by walking into a room. He would leave half the people in that room laughing. He was a goofy guy and always fun to be around. When having a bad day, Drew would come along and make you feel better. He was a very optomistic person, and had a lot going for him. I will never forget all the good memories of him, from the times in Spanish class, to the times we went to the Middle School. Drew will always have a place in my heart.”
Kyle Cooke, a fellow cast mate, said, “Drew was an amazing individual. He had the ability to make almost everyone smile. He had a magnetic personality that and everyone he met he impacted. He was an amazing musician and his theatre performances were amazing. I had the privilege of knowing him and working with him in the theatre productions and working with him for senior gifts last year. I’m proud to have known such an amazing individual and i’m sure that Drew is teaching the angels how to play as beautifully as he did. Love ya Drew!”
Kara Aaron; a fellow classmate, dancer, and cast member, said, “I admired you so much fro always being what I wanted to be. You could play the guitar, drums, flute, clarinet. You could sing… you got a job (when I couldn’t), you got the main roles in the Theatre Productions. Aside from being together in the plays and musicals I feel like we bonded through the Beatles skit we did. I kinda wish I didn’t turn my head when you leaned in to kiss me. I remember at practice when you stared intently into my eyes and recited something really dumb, in an intense voice and for some reason, it made me cry! Bringing tears to my eyes made you happy you little turd! I remember at practice you couldn’t say Tzeitel right, so you just started calling me hot-tits. That always made my day… Drew, your smile and laughter made my day and I really wish we could have gotten closer. You were and are the biggest inspiration that I know and I’ll always remmber you for that. I hope someday (if by chance ther is a heaven) that I’ll get to see your adorable face again. I truly love you Andrew Shearin.”
Last, but certainly not least, Paul Godines, a friend’s father, said, “Back from Indy, while I was gone I found out about the death of a very awesome kid (17 yrs old). He would come to my house to visit my son, I really liked him he was a good kid, one that I enjoyed having over the house. He was the kind of kid parents wanted their children to be friends with. To hang with. The kind of kid we parents would go out of our way to do anything for, just to keep him around.While there are many kids that are like this one their is not another kid that is this one. A soft, funny, wacky, talented leader among his peers. Someone who you just couldn’t help but like. Not someone who needed to do something to stand out but someone who was a standout. However I must have faith in God in his infinite wisdom. Apparently God needs a new drum major for his thunderstorm orchestras, someone to semaphore the thunder, signal the wind to whip, for those times when someone is needed to announce to the clouds to blow and to mark the time for the sun to shine for the most magnificently timed finale. That my friends is a God given talent that no one I know has except my young friend. I will miss him, but I will forever be reminded of him during every thunderstorm. I will get excited when he signals the thunder to crack so hard that it surprises me, rattles the house and scares the crap out of me.That will be my friend the Drum Major Drew.”
In summation, it is obvious that the untimely death of such an incredible individual was an, as Drew would say, “epic fail.” He meant so much to so many people. He made a difference in this world and in all of our lives, before he was even an adult. He will never EVER be forgotten. As a fellow cast mate, former band mate, and class mate of Drew’s I must say that for having known him I am a better person. I’ll never forget that smile, that laugh, or that goofy personality. I’ll never forget the way he could bring me up when I needed him the most. I’ll never forget the way that he could make me feel like his best friend, even if we hadn’t talked in years. He was one of my best friends when I was in middle school, but that faded as we went our separate ways in high school. However, he was still always there for me, as if by magic. When I obviously completely failed at my play audition my sophomore year, he sat outside the school with me and spent over a half an hour telling me how amazing of an actress I was and how I was sure to get a part. When I miserably failed at marching the Indy 500 race track, he told me I, “got an A+ for effort, but a B for actually doing it.” He was a great friend, and we were all lucky to have known him.
Drew Shearin will never be forgotten. His life may be over, but his legacy will live in our hearts forever. When you hear the thunder hit like a bass drum or when you hear the lightning crash like symbols, that’s Drew. He’s up there rockin’ God’s world.