In Loving Memory

Trinity University students share stories about Tyler Colvin and Rebekah Wendt, two young students taken from this world too soon.

I am heartbroken to report that two Trinity University students died in a car crash on Friday, July 10. The pair were driving back to their hotel when they were hit by a truck around 6pm that night. 

Rebekah Wendt and Tyler Colvin, both members of the Class of 2023, were volunteering for Jon Francis’ campaign for state representative of Texas HD 60 for the summer with several other YCT members from various universities in Texas.

“Please join us in lifting up the families in prayer over the weeks to come. As a Believer, I know that we were never meant to experience death. Today is a painful reminder that until the Resurrection, we will still see death come far too soon for many. Hold your loved ones close. I know I am today,” said Francis.

“I am at a loss for words, this is completely heartbreaking across our entire organization. Life is very fragile and we must treasure the time we are granted. Our organization and chapters are extending our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to both families during this time” said William Dominguez, State Chair of YCT.

Tyler was an active member in the Catholic Student Group. He also joined Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed business fraternity in Fall 2019 and planned to serve as the Risk Management chair in the 2020-2021 school year. Tyler also joined Phi Sigma Pi in Spring 2020 and was slated to serve the organization as the Service Chair this fall. Tyler was also an active member of the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT).

Rebekah was an active member of the YCT chapter of Trinity University. In Spring 2020, she served as the Secretary and was planning on taking over as the Vice-chairman of the organization in the fall. She was also an active member of the Swing Bums, and participated in their Momentum show. Rebekah also volunteered her time and talent as a writer and photographer for The Tower, and all of us at the publication loved her deeply. 

“We are truly devastated at the loss of these two bright stars – and we are praying for their families – including at Trinity and YCT. I know I speak for our whole team when I say we will devote ourselves to the task of honoring their demonstrated love of America and their commitment to faith in the Almighty as we move forward shaken, but undeterred in our shared purpose. God bless them and their families,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21)

We at the Tower have compiled some anecdotes and reflections about Tyler and Rebekah from Trinity students who knew and loved them. We remember both of them as being wonderful individuals whom we loved very much.

“Rebekah had a way of lighting up the room that I’ve never really seen anyone else have. We first became good friends when she helped me cook Thanksgiving dinner for the members of YCT. We sat together in a tiny, kind of gross kitchen peeling and chopping vegetables for hours. She never even signed up to be a volunteer for that event. But when I texted her asking if she had any measuring cups, she immediately rushed over to help. Rebekah could have dropped off the supplies and gone on with her day until everything was done and ready. But…she stayed and helped. I hadn’t known Rebekah all that well back then, but she went out of her way to help me anyways. She had a beautiful soul, and we’re all going to miss her very much.” -Victoria Ydens, Class of 2022

“Tyler was a great friend. We were study partners for Business Stats and were both members of the Catholic Student Group. Tyler would frequent adoration and I remember being surprised when I saw him kneeling devotely before the Blessed Sacrament. But, not only did he practice his faith, he would also show me the face of Christ by being one of the most cheerful persons I know. One of the dearest memories I have of him is when we bumped into each other after a very exhausting day for me. He listened to me as I explained to him what I was struggling with at the time, cheered me up, and afterwards I felt so much better because he made me laugh a lot. I will always remember him with the smile he had that night.” -Karina Trevino, Class of 2023

“Rebekah was in Swing Bums with me and she was always such a fun dance partner. So happy and funny and full of life. Even if I made a mistake on a step or a turn she would just laugh it off and we’d keep dancing. She was so kind, and Trinity has lost a beautiful soul.” -Madison Poljan, Class of 2022

“Tyler was easily one of the most charismatic individuals I met my first year at Trinity. He was witty, attentive, and he always managed to make me laugh no matter the situation. He was involved in a wide range of extracurriculars, and he managed to give his undivided time and attention to each and every one. Tyler and I were in the same Pledge Class of Alpha Kappa Psi, a Professional Business Fraternity, and my experience in the process would not have been the same without him. I offer my deepest condolences to the Colvin Family, Tyler was a great friend and he will be sincerely missed.” -Andrea Tamez, Class of 2023

“I only met Rebekah because of Manfred. The whole first day I spent with her we joked (often at Fred’s expense), bonded, and genuinely just spilled secrets. I was instantly at peace whenever Rebekah was around. She was great with makeup. Every time I saw her for an event she was dressed for the occasion. Especially when she helped me put together a murder mystery party. I think Rebekah knew me better than I knew her which makes writing this hard. Also, she made these adorable snowmen macaroons that tasted so good. She was talented from makeup to cooking, to singing, and oh my goodness was she good at history. She loved it so much. I enjoyed how many times she would be in my suite with friends. It was always good for her to randomly appear in my room or my phone to light up and inform me about a cool baking trick. She was by no means one of my closest friends, but this past year solidified the fact I wanted her in my life for a long time. I saw her three weeks ago for a vacation and I can’t express how blessed I was to sit on the lake next to her and just chill. Also, she totally caught me trying to paddle down a hill on an inflatable duck. This is going to be hard for a long time. I loved Rebekah and her presence in my life.” -Bella Peters, Class of 2021

“I didn’t know Tyler well at all. Tyler frequented Eucharistic adoration, and because of this, I know Tyler’s faith was strong. As Catholics, we believe that Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, is truly and substantially present in the Eucharist in his body, blood, soul, and divinity. Tyler was a member of that small, faithful fraction. He truly believed in and adored Jesus Christ, and for that reason, I have great hope for him. I hope that he can now see Christ’s face not merely hidden under the appearance of bread, but exposed in all his glory and love, as he truly is.” -Alex Jacobs, Class of 2020

“Her enthusiasm was completely infectious. She would start talking about things I had never cared for, but I always found myself engaged and excited about it. She dragged me to a late-night showing of The Alamo starring John Wayne, at the Alamo, on the anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo. We had an absolute blast. She brought her very own coonskin cap and we shivered outside for the full three hours movie until 11 or so on a Friday night. Just a few teenagers among a squadron of elderly and  two young families.
While the unique and fun stories mean a lot, our friendship was based on all the little things we did together. Going to Mabee late at night, playing hangman on a chalkboard during a study break, going out for movie nights or Super Bowl parties, complaining about how hard classes were, and then motivating each other to do well in those classes and so much more. Rebekah was my mom-friend and my sister-friend and my best friend rolled into one. We only knew each other for 10 months, and 3 of them were under quarantine, but she was one of the best people I ever had the pleasure of meeting.” -Maggie Pritchett, Class of 2023

“Kind, thoughtful, and openly compassionate. A few out of many words to describe Rebekah Wendt. She was a source of joy for many people who were fortunate enough to be acquainted with her. Every time I saw her, she was always happy. A bright smile to warm even the coldest of hearts, and a laughter that could spark amusement even in the most solemn of crowds. But what I found most enduring about Rebekah was her strength of character. Without fear, she was open about her values and beliefs, proudly bearing the image of a conservative and Christian. The weight of her convictions did not deter her; it emboldened her. She embodied goodness in every word and action, an emblem of light in an ever-darkening world. Rebekah, we will miss you.” -Isaac Ogbo, Class of 2020

“Tyler was a fun, good-natured kid with a really great spirit. Although not the best bowler, or poker player, he was a legend at Wii baseball and an even better person and friend. Thanks for letting me to be your friend, Tyler, may you rest in peace.

“Rebekah was a beautiful soul with a down-to-earth laugh to match. Her positivity was infectious, her intelligence was beyond her years, and her willingness to help others was unrivaled. Thank you for being a light in the world, may you rest in peace.” -Kevin Crusius, Class of 2021

“Tyler was an incredible friend. I only met him toward the end of the semester at Trinity, but he was a kind, outgoing, enthusiastic, sporadic, and all around incredible person. Even after we left for the virus, he made an effort to keep in touch with me that took me by surprise because we were really only acquaintances before. But everyday and up until his passing he texted and spoke with me and was there for me like few people are, and I can only hope he knew how much I valued the conversations I had with him, and the impact he’s had on my life. I only regret never getting to spend another moment in person with such an amazing, friendly, caring, valuable human being, and I know I will miss him greatly. I hope to carry on his outgoing, unhesitatingly passionate personality in my own life now. In the few months I’ve known him, I’ve learned and grown a lot because of him, and I’m going to miss him greatly.” -Sonja Lisowski, Class of 2023

“Although I primarily knew Rebekah through my times with YCT and our friend group, the most fond memory I have of her is when she would come to the Bible study I led early on in her freshman year. Even though Rebekah was not Catholic and it was a CSG Bible study, she still came and was excited every time I saw her. She would make jokes about what we were discussing and keep conversation light and fun, drawing everyone in. Although most of the other girls in the room were fellow freshman strangers to her, she listened to what they said with deep kindness and responded lovingly. She lit up the room and was always a fast and true friend to those who had the pleasure of knowing her.

“Rebekah reminded me a lot of myself in the way that during her freshman year she was just coming into herself. Like many college students, she was learning who she was as an adult as she gained all of these new experiences and friends. I saw her grow immensely in those months we spent together at Trinity, as she figured out who she was just as I and many others did during our first years. I remember always thinking of Rebekah as someone with this incredible potential to become someone great. Her passion and curiosity were so genuine that it was impossible not to love her, as she was one of the easiest persons to talk to and have fun with. I will forever remember Rebekah as this incredible young woman who was just starting out and finding herself, becoming a confident and radiant woman who we all truly loved.” -Madison D’Iorio, Class of 2021

“Though I was only able to get to know Tyler over the course of his year at Trinity I can be happy to know that I was able to meet and become friends with him. His excitement when working with YCT inspired me and everyone around him to continue working despite the obstacles in our paths. Every time Tyler met a challenge he was able to face it with a happy heart and a smile. Tyler was the type of guy who was so warmhearted and funny that he could become the life of any party he went to, but chose not to out of his own humility. The world lost a very kind soul on Friday and I’ll miss being able to talk and joke with him but thank you for letting me be your friend Tyler, may you rest in peace.

“Rebekah is one of the strongest and most loving people I have ever met. Someone who looked after those around her even if she had just met them and always looking to do right by others. She was a very happy person who faced the challenges in her life with an infectious laugh as if taunting the universe with ‘is that the best you can do?’ Her courage to be unafraid of who she is and her beliefs is an inspiration to all and I am glad to have been her friend. Thank you for being you and thank you for being a great friend, may you rest in peace.” -Nathan Darsch, Class of 2022 

Author: Victoria Ydens

Victoria Ydens is a senior at Trinity University and double-majoring in Classical Languages and Economics. She is involved in the Young Conservatives of Texas, Catholic Student Group, and Tigers for Life clubs at Trinity. Victoria has been published in Capital Research and Issues & Insights.

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