Reagan A. Beene played for the Cambridge High School freshman football team. (click for larger version)
The Beene family. (click for larger version)
Cambridge High School students created a memorial Monday, Dec. 16 in front of the school. Flowers, Bible verses and prayers decorated the flagpole base dedicated to "15," Reagan's jersey number. The lawn was decorated with blue and white balloons. (click for larger version)
Reagan Beene loved fishing. (click for larger version)
The Cambridge community is in mourning after the loss of a young student Dec. 16. A video was created on YouTube remembering 14-year-old Reagan Beene.
December 16, 2013MILTON, Ga. — The Cambridge High School community was in shock Monday, Dec. 16, after learning of the suicide of one of their own.
Reagan Austin Beene was a popular 14-year-old freshman, described as funny and sensitive by family and friends.
Beene's friends called him a prankster, who loved to listen to country music, especially Carrie Underwood and Toby Keith. He loved the outdoors, whether it was tubing at the lakes near his grandparents Texas home, playing golf or fishing and hunting.
"He was funny, always smiling, always happy," said his mother, Britt Beene.
Reagan Beene, who was born in Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago, Ill., died Saturday, Dec. 14.
This was a day after Milton Police charged the teenager along with a dozen of his friends with underage drinking at a house party in Crooked Creek.
The Beene family moved to Milton in 2005.
Reagan, whose freshman football jersey was No. 15, also played middie for the Cambridge High School lacrosse team.
When it came to television, he loved to watch "Duck Dynasty."
His mother recalled "That and the Dallas Cowboys Football," Britt said. "The Texas Longhorns were second.
"Stonecreek Church has been a huge influence on his life and he had just gotten baptized a couple of weeks ago," his mother said. "He touched so many lives."
Mourning students came to school Monday to a makeshift memorial on the school's front lawn and remembered Reagan on and off campus this week. The memorial at the school included flowers and posters with messages for their classmate.
Susan Hale, Fulton County Schools spokeswoman, said the school responded to the news by bringing in grief counselors and a crisis team.
"We are trying to be supportive of staff and students," Hale said.
Friends fondly recalled Beene.
"He was like a little brother to me," said Croix Martini, 16, who also plays on the lacrosse team. "He was really popular and had a lot of friends."
Students at Cambridge High are "shocked," said Carson Smith, 17.
As the lacrosse season begins in late January and early February, students plan to dedicate the season to Beene.
"We are writing 'RB' on our helmets," said Smith.
In the morning of Dec. 16, half of the student population at Cambridge High walked to Stonecreek Church and many checked out after that.
"It's a day of remembrance and grief," Smith said, after checking out of school and spending Monday afternoon at Alpharetta North Park.
Smith and other members of the school's lacrosse team said they needed to "blow off some steam."
Cambridge Principal Ed Spurka sent word out to parents over the weekend about the loss.
"We express our deepest sympathy to the Beene family; our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of grief," he wrote. "Tonight and in the coming days, I encourage you to talk to your children about their feelings and experiences and encourage them to seek support from our counseling staff if appropriate."
Social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were filled with many posted remembrances and sympathy to the family.
"The biggest smiles hold the most pain, and he had one hell of a smile. RIP Reagan Beene," tweeted fellow Cambridge student Remy Johnston.
Beene is survived by his parents, Jeffry A. Beene and Britt Beene; older sisters, Anderson "Ace," 20, Mallory, 17, and younger brother, Travis, a seventh grader at Hopewell Middle School.
A memorial service was held Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. at Stonecreek Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Stonecreek Church, 13540 Ga. 9 N., Milton, Ga. 30004 in the name of "Reagan Austin Beene."
Outpourings of sympathy have flooded the Internet for the Beene family.
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Our hearts are broken with sadness for the Beene family. We are keeping Reagan and the entire Beene family in our daily prayers.
The Townsend family,
We are so very sorry to hear of your loss. You have been in our thoughts, and we will continue to pray for comfort and strength to you all.
The Willsey family,
Long Valley, N.J.
So sorry for your loss; my heart breaks for you and your family. Thoughts and prayers with all of you.
My deepest sympathy to you and your family for your loss. Please accept my condolences on behalf of myself and my family with God's grace to help you through this most difficult time. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.