In Memory

Tay Atwell

The other person I can NEVER forget is Tay Atwell. She was a wonderful and beautiful girl with a great personality that was a member of the SHHS synchronized swim team SHARCS. In the school year of 1978-79 she took her own life, the exact date eludes me, for reasons I could not verify. I was one of the last people to see her alive and I still relive that day in my head. She came to me after school looking for a ride home but I didn't drive to school that day. I could see she was very distressed about something but she ran away before I could press her for a reason. Next day was heartbreaking. I remember Debbie Donahey sobbing in my arms, both of us trying to console each other. I was in shock and couldn't go to classes so I left the school. Though Tay and I were classmates in several classes and we talked in and out of class most days we didn't socialize outside of school. If anyone could write an obit I would have to defer to Deborah Donahey as she was close to Tay. If not I will try and think of something.

What irks me about Tay not being listed as a classmate any more is that she was in the 1978-79 year book in the group picture for the SHARCS but her name was not listed. She is right in the front of the pack too. I wondered if the SHHS administration just didn't want to cause a controversy that year.

I stopped by the HS few days ago and was able to pick up a used copy of '80 yearbook and had a chance to look thru the '78 yearbook. Tay was in SHARCS in '77-78 school year too and her name was listed there but she missed the photo day and never had her head shot in the book. I was disappointed to not see her face there.

John Makley

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06/11/10 01:33 PM #1    

Katherine Kennard (Tucker)

Tay's suicide was such a shock for me.  I knew her well in 10th grade and we drifted apart after that, but I was aware she was having difficult times.

What a terrible waste of a promising life! Graduation was not that far off, in relative terms.  I also really felt for Patty Ruggie, who did so much in the aftermath on behalf of Tay.

Thanks John, for asking for her to be put on our classmate list.

09/11/10 03:39 AM #2    

Andre Nash

Blessing up for Tay Atwell

11/21/12 10:31 AM #3    

Lisa Marie Defranco (Johnson)

I remember Tay well from Junior H.S. at Byron.  She was my friend then,  although we drifted apart  in H.S. 

rest in peace, love and comfort Tay

11/29/12 01:22 PM #4    

Todd Harvey Carmichael

I never knew Tay, but it sounds like she was a wonderful person.

02/17/15 04:45 PM #5    

David Sachs

Tay died on January 4, 1979.

03/13/15 06:18 PM #6    

Ronald Mosby

Tay was a beautiful person.  I took art classes with her at Byron.  What an amazing talent she had.  I do remember that she committed suicide.  I was in complete shock; now, as I reconnect with many that I attended school with, it is clear that so many were dealing with such a variety of burdens.  We cannot change the past, but we can honor those who preceded us in death by remembering what they added to our lives.  Tay added a lot to so many lives. 

12/29/22 12:59 PM #7    

Ellis Moore

Miss you Tay !! You will NEVER be forgotten !! Rest In Heaven !!

01/02/23 08:01 AM #8    

Deborah Lynn Donahey (Coakley)

John, I just opened the email to read your tribute to Tay. A week does not go by when I don't think of her. Please reach out if you would like to talk. 
Debbie Donahey Coakley 

01/04/23 03:55 PM #9    

Jacqueline Patterson

Classmates, please let me clarify. Tay is and never was  removed from our class register or our In Memoriam.  We would never remove a classmate for any reason.  We actually have added those who were classmates but simply did not walk the stage at graduation.

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