Friday, October 1, 2010

Tragic death of Nicholls student devastates community Katelyn Thibodeaux Issue date: 9/30/10 Section: News

Tragic death of Nicholls student devastates community

Katelyn Thibodeaux

Issue date: 9/30/10 Section: News

The Nicholls community, family, friends and the men of Kappa Alpha fraternity mourn the loss of a fallen brother.

Nathan Trepagnier, 19, was killed Saturday when he fell off of the Kappa Alpha hayride and was run over on Bowie Rd. during Homecoming festivities. Witnesses said they thought he was trying to re-position himself when he fell.

"It was really just a freak accident," Nathan's father, Wilfred Trepagnier Jr., said. "There's nobody to blame. It was just an unfortunate accident."

However, Nathan's family and friends are no longer talking about his death but his life.

Every friend of Nathan described him as an amazing person who lived an amazing life.

"He was quiet, but he was very strong internally, and that's what people liked about him," Wilfred said.

Most people referred to Nathan as "selfless," and this shows in a post on his Facebook wall from Hailey Garner.

"First off, I just wanted to say thank you for saving my life when I was younger and jumping in a pool with your clothes on and no floaties," Garner said. "I don't think I ever got the chance to really thank you for that, and I wish I had."

Nathan attended Holy Rosary High School in Metairie, La, which was established for his freshman year in 2005. He had previously attended Holy Rosary Academy for grade school.

Michael Binder, Holy Rosary principal, said Nathan was a vital part in establishing the high school.

"He created a Holy Rosary High School application himself and submitted it before we had a faculty, a campus or even an application form," Binder said. "He participated in much of the planning of HRHS, including student activities, spirit and the make-up of the school. He selected the senior ring that our students now wear and helped develop our school's crest. Nathan earned many distinctions during his high school years, including becoming the Valedictorian of his senior class."

At HRHS, Nathan started the student council and eventually became the president. Binder said he was an extraordinary minister of communion and the lead alter server.

"I admired him for how good of a person he was," Binder said. "He was able to help people who needed help, and he was able to lead when we needed a student leader. He made a huge impression on me and the rest of the school and community as well."

Nathan also had an impact on his teachers.

"Nathan always struck me as a man who lived life to the fullest with few, if any, regrets," Bernard De Santis III, one of Nathan's high school teachers, said. "Such a life prepares one for one's own death whenever it may come and leads to eternal life afterwards. My sorrow is much less for Nathan than for myself and the countless others who were not prepared for his passing."

Nathan even had an impact on those he met only in passing.

"Nathan was an incredible person for the few times I ever interacted with him and just an all around great guy," Veronica Wilkins, student at Holy Rosary, said. "They say things happen for a reason, but things like this, we wish wouldn't. What's happened is extremely tragic, but its gotten all of us to come to reality and know not to take advantage of anything and be grateful for what we have, because it could be gone in a matter of seconds."

The Nicholls community had the same reaction as much of his grade school and high school peers.

The day of Nathan's death, the Greek community at Nicholls put aside their war and came together unlike ever before for a prayer service in memory of Nathan.

"I never thought I would experience such shock in my life," Lacey Angeron, junior and this year's homecoming queen, said in a Facebook comment to Nathan after his passing. "We'll miss you around this place, buddy. I wish our love could bring you back. I'm so glad I got to know you. You wouldn't imagine the impact you had on the Greek community at Nicholls today. You'd be proud."

Nathan's fraternity brothers' comments could not be published due to National rules and limitations.

Nathan's Facebook wall was flooded with comments from students, friends, family and fraternity brothers with everything from personal notes written to Nathan, to those expressing how much of an impact he had in their life.

Wilfred, Nathan's father, left his son a comment while expressing his thankfulness to everyone who also left comments.

"Nathan-my love, my son. I will never forget you as long as I live. I know you're sitting at the right side of God. To all the people who wrote on this wall, just a thank you from my heart. Please keep Nathan in your prayers, and God bless each and every one of you," Wilfred said.

Priscilla Toups Pendzimaz, Nathan's grandmother and a 1985 Nicholls alumna, said that she, "in her deepest sorrow, is happy that Nathan was enjoying himself when God called him home. He will live forever in all of his family's hearts."

Pendzimaz, as well as Nathan's parents, an aunt and an uncle, were Nicholls alumni. Nathan was a legacy in Kappa Alpha Fraternity as well as the current Treasurer.

Visitation for Nathan is tonight from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.?at Leitz-Eagan Funeral Home, 4747 Veterans Memorial Blvd.,?Metairie.

Tomorrow's visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 11a.m.?with the funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church,?3368 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans.

**This is a note written by Tori Read, a friend and former girlfriend of Nathan.**


I think we both know that we have to thank our friend, Christian Odum, for suggesting me to be your date to your junior prom. I am forever grateful to him for that. I also will never forget the day that you told me you loved me. That was the most terrifying but amazing moment in my life, because I knew that when you said those words to me, really deep down in your heart, you cared. I have never felt that connection with any other man but you, and I believe that says something. You loved me for who I really was. You didn't question anything; you just loved me for me as I loved you. You have made such an impact on our school (Holy Rosary). I hope you know that. Just today, the faculty and I were talking about how everything in the school that is what it is today is all because of you. You put your heart and soul into everything you did for our school, and it definitely shows. I have always admired that about you. Even though I am still coping with your death, I can rest a little easier now because I know that even though you are not here with all of those who love you on earth, you are now our guardian angel, always protecting, watching and loving each and every one of us. When my time comes, I will be waiting to meet you at God's heavenly gates where we can be reunited, where I will see that wonderful bright smile of yours that I miss so much. I'm always thinking about you and always praying for you and your family. I will be there for them. I know you know that, so you don't have to worry. I love you always and dearly, my knight in shining armor. You will forever hold a special place in my heart, my love. I am always listening for you.

Tori Read

We are devastated to be aware of yet another loss of life due to Parade Float Accidents.

Please...Please go to and take note....see specifically

Out of this tragedy...we can join forces and prevent this from happening to others!! That is what we have been trying to do for over 8 years!

If our Government Officials had taken our advice and had a Standard safety check list for all parades then this might not have happen.

Please see what a father in Maine tried to do over 8 years ago!!!
Would Float Railing Have Prevented N.H. Parade Tragedy?

Lets try and prevent "Others" from loosing their lives by the same thing!!!!!!! WE just need help!

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