Bowie woman looks to honor late teens with a memorial tree


BOWIE, TX (KFDX/KJTL) A Bowie woman is working to memorialize the lives of five teens who lost their lives in the past year. Tabitha Starr is taking action to plant a memorial tree at Bowie High School. Over the past year, the Bowie community has suffered the tragic loss of five teenagers: Austin Cox, Madison Waldrip, Tyler Nelson, Trenton Walker and Lexi Lynch. Tabitha Starr wants memories of them to live on.

“Just a memorial tree planted here at the high school campus so that our fellow kids returning and parents that still have other children attending campuses can grieve,” said memorial tree organizer, Tabitha Starr.

The superintendent and new Bowie principal are on board and Starr wants this to be a place of peace. “To me it’s just a proactive way to let the younger generation know that whatever the grief may be, or shared frustrations, we can all have the place to go to have a positive reinforcement rather than just mourning all the time,” Starr said.

Local nursery, Stix & Stones, is giving a tree, but other local businesses are offering to help too. “When I see things like that that are posted, I know that I can contact the company, let them know that I would like to be given those funds to help out and when we do service projects that means that we go and we do the hands on,” said Kim Cantwell of Modern Woodman Fraternal Financial.

Cantwell is a 27-year retired educator and knows this project is special for Bowie. “People hurt for other people and you can see that and this community particularly comes together, we band together,” Cantwell said.
There’s a reason the memorial will be a tree. “Their parking lots may be gone and they may not physically be here, but we can still see them as this tree grows and blooms,” Starr said. “We can still see their souls and spirits going with it.”

As the tree grows, memories of the five who passed will grow with it.
The location isn’t officially set yet, but Starr says they’re considering planting the tree near the pavilion behind the high school. Starr is still working out the details for a planting date.

If you’d like to help with anything, you can contact Starr at 940-642-0664.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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