Tyler’s story began April 20, 1994 in Waterloo, Iowa. He was born on a beautiful, bright and sunny day, and was a perfectly healthy baby boy. He was a sweet and sensitive little boy growing up, quiet around others until he got to know them. He was also extremely intelligent, scoring at college level for math and science on standardized testing early on.
Tyler was picked on by his peers in junior high and high school for being so bright, and also for being so sensitive. He was made fun of for rarely bringing his books to class or turning in any homework, but still getting A’s on tests. He was pushed down in hallways and stairwells, poked with sharp objects, and called names. These incidents were dealt with as they occurred, but even so, these experiences severely damaged Tyler’s self esteem.
Towards the end of 9th grade, he expressed his desire to end his own life after an encounter during baseball practice. He was immediately taken to the hospital, and treatment for his depression began, which included counseling and medication. Over the next few years, he blossomed into a wonderfully caring, compassionate young man. He became involved in high school activities and his church youth group. During his free time he could be found hanging out with friends or working. He had a really good support network and group of friends, and things seemed to be falling into place quite well for him.
Tyler graduated with honors from Waterloo West High School in 2012, and from there he spent his time working two jobs and just enjoying life for the next year. When he was 19 years old he made the decision to move out on his own, which was the beginning of the end for him, as he also suddenly stopped his depression treatment.
Once Tyler stopped managing his depression, life slowly began to unravel. Over the next two years, he gradually shut out his family and long-term friends, and stopped doing the things he had once enjoyed. He lost relationships that were very important to him, and he became even more distant. In August of 2015, he came to the realization that his depression was not going to get any better on it’s own. He sought professional help a few times during his last month of life, but sadly, he was continuously turned away, with varying reasons why.
On October 4, 2015, Tyler’s feelings of hopelessness and despair became too overwhelming for him to face anymore. He took his own life in his grandmother’s garage early that morning, and was found several hours later. We will never know exactly what triggered him to end his life. Had he been planning this? Did something happen that day? These questions will forever remain unanswered. He left behind his loving parents, step-parents, brothers, sister, aunt, uncles, grandparents, cousins and hundreds of friends.
Tyler has been described by his friends as a very kind hearted and loving person. He always wanted everyone to be happy, and he would do what he could to make that happen. He was always understanding, compassionate and did anything he could to help others around him. His co-workers have said he would go out of his way just to greet them with a smile or a hug. He would tell his girlfriends they were beautiful, and he meant it. He was an amazing big brother to his younger siblings.
He was a loyal sports fan-Iowa Hawkeyes, Chicago Cubs and Waterloo Black Hawks were his favorites. He grew up playing baseball and hockey. He loved music, especially Linkin Park and Papa Roach, and went to Rock On the Range in Ohio every year with friends.
He was so full of life and so full of love. He’s missed every single day by the many people who were blessed to have known him, even if just for a short time.