(PUEBLO, Colo.) — On Friday evening, Dec. 30, a memorial ceremony was held at the Seton building gymnasium for Tyler West – a teacher at Pueblo South High School who was killed on Dec. 22.
During the ceremony, family members and faculty shared the great impact Tyler had on them.
One of the first speakers was Cindy Smith, D60 Fine Arts and Performing Arts Coordinator. She shared about first meeting Tyler to interview him to teach in Pueblo.
“We were excited to have him here,” Smith said. “We wondered how a small-town Iowa guy was going to do here in Pueblo in our fast-paced program that was full of traditions and, and expectations.”
His enthusiasm for teaching and his love for music was shared instantly in teaching students in Pueblo.
“He always jumped in feet first. He did what needed to be done and always with his students at the forefront of any decision that he made,” Smith said. “He also jumped in feet first very quickly in our musical community, he made fast and furious relationships with his music teacher colleagues here in Pueblo.”
Scott West, Tyler’s dad, asked the audience to give a round of applause for Tyler and remember the incredible person he was.
“I knew this would be hard, but I want to make this better. We’re here to celebrate Tyler and he would have wanted us to have fun and not be sad,” Scott said.
Brooke Doret, Tyler’s sister, shared that even though she was the older one, she referred to Tyler as her big little brother.
“My older brother, Tyler, and I had a group chat to share pictures and life together,” Doret said. “Zach and I would often send pictures of our kids, while Tyler and I would send pictures of his band kids.”
The Pueblo community shared with Tyler’s family the great impact he had on them.
“The last few days in Pueblo have been healing, every person I’ve met has described Tyler as a light, a real comfort and safe space to be himself, still this loving person he was as a kid,” Doret said.
Another speaker was Becca Klock, a close friend of Tyler. She recalled memories of the two of them teaching at South High School together.
“Every single hour of the day, we would go into our middle office, they are connected,” Klock said. “And we would go ‘hi, i miss you’ and back to class.”
Although their time was cut short, Klock was grateful for every second of it.
“So Tyler only lived here for a year and a half, but I spent almost every single day with him on the phone or in person,” Klock said. “It’s my 500 days of love. I’m so grateful he’s left a huge impact and I cannot thank you enough for attending.”
At the end of the ceremony, a video played of pictures of Tyler and a clip of Becca singing a song to him.
Following the memorial, a candlelight vigil was held at South High School.
Scott West closed the ceremony leaving the audience with words of wisdom.
“The thing is something you guys are going to miss, you know, finding that one person that inspires you,” Scott West said. “So I ask again, find that person, if that person for you was Tyler, find another one and do what you got to do… And the promise made to Tyler, something good will come out of this. You guys find out what it is that you can do to make something good come out of this and do it, take action, do it.”