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posted: 3/29/2013 5:53 PM

Wheaton College mourns freshman

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  • Graham Elliot Stevens

    Graham Elliot Stevens
    courtesy Wheaton College


Family and friends this week are remembering Graham Stevens' "hilarious" sense of humor and counseling spirit.

Stevens, a 19-year-old Wheaton College freshman, died Tuesday, four days after collapsing during a game of Capture the Flag with other members of the college's Men's Glee Club.

According to a written statement on the college's website, Stevens was taken to Central DuPage Hospital where he never regained consciousness before being removed from life support and having his organs made available for donation.

"As Graham's family and close friends gathered by his side to say goodbye, I was encouraged to hear many wonderful stories about him," Wheaton College Chaplain Stephen Kellough said in the statement. "Graham will be remembered as a young man who was full of life and vitality as a Christian believer, and as a good friend who sacrificed for others. I was especially moved to learn that Graham has friends who will remember him as the person who led them to faith in Christ."

Stevens, a Wheaton resident and 2012 graduate of Glenbard South High School, had not yet declared a major but school officials said he had an interest in biology.

A member of the Glee Club, Stevens also was known for his musical talents. He played piano as part of Blanchard Alliance Church services.

Brad Jones, the minister of music at the church, was Stevens' piano teacher for several years. Jones described him as a "gentle soul" who loved the outdoors and showed special tenderness to his three younger brothers.

"Graham was quiet and gentle, but had a way of drawing people to him," Jones said. "People just loved him. He had a winning smile, and a really hilarious sense of humor."

Jones said Graham was known as a good listener.

"He had a lot of wisdom, and a special capacity to be with people who were troubled. His friends often thought of him as a counselor -- and a counselor who always directed them to Jesus," he said.

A memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Blanchard Alliance Church, 1766 S. Blanchard St., Wheaton. Visitation will begin at 5 p.m. and continue after the service.

A private interment will take place at Wheaton Cemetery in Wheaton.

Memorial gifts may be directed to Blanchard Alliance Church Graham Stevens Memorial Fund.

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