Coaches, teachers describe Garrison student whose death shocked community: ‘He was just a wonderful young man’

Coaches, teachers describe Garrison student whose death shocked community: ‘He was just a wonderful

GARRISON, Texas (KTRE) - Garrison Independent School District on Tuesday offered students, teachers, and coaches who knew a high school student who drowned during a trip to the lake the opportunity to grieve together in a familiar setting.

Garrison High School opened its doors to those grieving the death of Brandon Tenison. Officials have confirmed that Tenison drowned Saturday at the public swimming area near Murvaul Marina.

In the small, tight-knit community, many educators like Leslie McFadden knew Tenison throughout his life.

“Brandon was just full of life, full of energy,” McFadden recalled of her former student. “[He] loved to be around people, make people happy, and he had a heart of gold.”

Dempsey Compton, Garrison high school football coach, first recognized similar qualities in Tenison, not only in the way he acted around others, but the way he showed that energy on the playing field.

“He was just a wonderful young man,” Compton said. “He was always trying to get people to be excited at football practice; he was always excited in the hallways when you saw him.

“He was always volunteering, always trying to be the first one out there,” Compton added.

On Saturday, June 15, we learned of the passing of a 12th grade Garrison High School student, Brandon Tenison. We are...

Posted by Garrison ISD on Sunday, June 16, 2019

McFadden said it’s evident what impact Tenison’s death had on the community. She recalled the turnout for a candlelight vigil held in the young man’s honor Monday night at the school where he would’ve been a senior come August.

“The community and the school has really come together and showed support, and we’re just really proud of our little town and our little school,” said McFadden.

“Probably something people can take out of this, you just never know,” Compton added. “I mean we’re only given day-by-day, and we need to live life to the fullest and enjoy ourselves, and enjoy the friendships we’ve made through our relationships, whether it’s school, church, or our athletic events.”

A visitation will be held June 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Garrison Funeral Home. Tenison’s funeral will be on June 20 at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Garrison.

WEBXTRA: Garrison ISD coaches, teachers grieve the loss of 'fantastic' student-athlete

On Sunday. June 23, a fundraiser for Tenison’s family will take place at the Appleby Sand Mercantile restaurant in Nacogdoches. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., you can buy a chicken spaghetti dinner or a regular spaghetti dinner. Plates are $12 for adults and $6 for children. All of the sales will go to the family.

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