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GC gathers to celebrate life of life Carri Thigpen


Several dozen friends and family members of Carri Thigpen lit candles on Front Campus on Sept. 26 to host a celebration of her life.

“Words just aren’t enough to capture the true essence of Carri,” said Cathy and Catlyn Thigpen, Carri’s mother and sister. “She was the light of our world, a smiling face that you couldn’t help but love. She had one of the biggest hearts out of any one we knew, and would do anything for those she cared about and loved, especially if it involved Mexican food or Dr. Pepper.”

The celebration started at 9 p.m. and allowed those who knew her to speak about Thigpen and re-tell stories and share memories. The speakers were followed by a moment of silence and a candle lighting, which represented how one life could impact so many others.

“[Carri] was so bubbly and sweet and could have a conversation with anyone,” said junior Dominique Pennisi, a marketing major. “There was never a time that I saw her where she didn’t have a smile on her face.”

Thigpen was a junior exercise science major.

On Sept. 20, Thigpen was involved in a chain-reaction car crash on I-20. The first accident occurred when a vehicle hit the rear of a motorcycle. As three other vehicles slowed to avoid the wreckage, Thigpen’s car was hit from behind and forced into the median.

Pennisi met Carri during their Summer 2018 study abroad trip to Australia.

“We ended up booking a skydiving trip together,” Pennisi said. “When we got there, I wasn’t able to go because I had a cold. She ended up going, and I waited for her at the bottom, and when she landed, she ran up to me, so excited, and kept saying how she wanted to do it again. I’m definitely booking a skydiving trip in the future in honor of her.”

Cathy and Catlyn Thigpen say that traveling was a passion of hers.

“She packed a lot of life into her short 20 years,” Cathy said. “She traveled to Costa Rica, Ireland, New York and recently Australia. She was always looking for an adventure.”

Sophomore Mikayla Lane, an exercise science major, met Thigpen through working at Shane’s Rib Shack. She describes Carri as the most selfless person she had ever met.

“My favorite memory with Carri has to be all of hour 2 or 3 a.m. heart-to-heart conversations,” Lane said. “She would call me and I’d come to her house and just sit in my truck and talk with her. We shared a lot of laughs together as well as cried our eyes out together. She truly was my best friend.”

Carri will be missed by GC.

“Heaven truly gained an angel last Thursday,” said Cathy and Catlyn Thigpen. “Although she is not with us physically, her spirit lives on in us forever.”

#carrithigpen #celebrationoflife #caraccident

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