Media Credit: nicolerork.com
Thomas stands next to a piano which once filled the hall
with music and excitement. He photographed abandoned
buildings and had a passion for photography.
Students traveling southeast down the 80-94 and I-65 exchange from PUC
may run into Hobart. The town is home to many students who travel back
and forth for their lectures, quizzes and tests.
Last Saturday, Sept. 23 at 8 a.m., one of these students was killed.
Seth Thomas, a 23-year-old engineering major, was photographing a
train in Hobart and was struck by it. He died immediately of blunt
A celebration of Thomas' life was held Wednesday, Sept. 27.
The half-lit sky was spotted by grey clouds and vivid under the waning
remains of sunset. The colors of the fading summer floated through the
cool autumn breeze.
Emotional friends and family brightened a windowless room with love
and memories at the Elk's Lodge in Hobart.
The walls were adorned with photos taken by an individual loved by
everyone attending the commemoration. The photographer was Thomas.
He was passionate about his photography and he took pictures described
as unorthodox by his peers. He spent time in Gary, as well as other
places, taking pictures of abandoned buildings.
"Seth did not want to a regular wake and funeral," said Thomas' mother
Susan. "He would not have liked that at all. He wanted a party and
that is what this is."
There was food and drink and an upbeat tone to the celebration's
proceedings fulfilling Thomas' wish.
The event lasted from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. At 6 p.m. the stage was given
to those who spoke of Thomas' life and rendered their memories rather
than their eulogies.
Many of his friends and family members shared memories involving
photography, dancing and urinating on tables. Each speaker used words
like intelligent, caring and nonconformist in their descriptions of
Thomas, alluding to his charismatic and unique personality.
Friend and PUC student Josh Fox described his 10-year relationship
with Thomas as if he were a brother.
A side show of Thomas' pictures blinked brightly against the walls
during the ceremony while hundreds of his photographs were posted
around the room.
"I hope that the people here can appreciate the great pictures and
work he has done," said father Steve Thomas. "And I want the people
here that didn't know him to learn something about his passions and
how he saw the beauty in ugly things."
In the front of the hall laid stacks of pictures bearing a message
from Thomas' MySpace profile.
"I like taking pictures. I like abandoned buildings. I really like
taking pictures in abandoned buildings. These are those pictures,"
followed by the words "Have fun!"
Outside, the colorful fall leaves swirled in the wind. As each person
filed out of the Elk's Lodge, night had fallen on the ceremony.