Deceased AGR brother honored at candlelight vigil

Cale Boedeker, a sophomore and Alpha Gamma Rho member, died Monday night.
Sophomore Maggie Teson (left) stands during a candlelight vigil honoring Cale Boedeker in front of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house Sept. 30. Boedeker, a sophomore fisheries and wildlife major, was found dead in the house the previous night.

The flag at the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house flew at half-mast at Tuesday’s candlelight vigil for sophomore Cale Boedeker, who died late Monday night.

Hundreds of MU students — both Greek and non-Greek — gathered on the front lawn of the fraternity house at 9 p.m. to pay their respects. The vigil lasted slightly more than 20 minutes.

The steps leading up to the front door were lined with tall, white candles, assorted floral arrangements, a white rose wreath and a framed picture of Boedeker. Attendees held lit candles throughout the vigil and blew out the flames at the end.

During the vigil, Pastor Ryan Wampler from The Crossing Church addressed students. He reminded the crowd that death was not the end, and asked for several moments of silence so students could pray for Boedeker’s family, friends and girlfriend. Many students bowed their heads during this time.

Many students hugged and cried as Wampler spoke. Grief counselors were also made available to students afterward.

Alpha Gamma Rho president Kayden Guymon said Boedeker was a kind-hearted individual who got along with everyone.

“When I met him when he came into the house in the fall of 2013, I knew that he would make a great brother for our fraternity, and that he did,” Guymon said in an email. “He demonstrated our promise and values to the utmost degree and all of us were honored to call him a brother.”

Guymon also described Boedeker as being “a very spiritual person.” He was a member of the The Crossing Church and participated in a Bible study group.

“I never saw Cale be mean to anyone, and he was able to joke around with anyone that he was around,” Guymon said. “Cale also served Alpha Gamma Rho as our chaplain and did a great job leading us spiritually. He was always in good spirits and loved to be with his brothers and friends.”

Toward the end of the vigil, it was announced that the Office of Greek Life’s annual Unsung Hero Scholarship Award would be renamed the "Cale Boedeker Unsung Hero" award in his honor.

Boedeker was a fisheries and wildlife major at MU. Guymon said he wanted to work with wildlife and conservation after graduation.

Greek Life associate director Janna Basler said Boedeker had battled diabetes since his childhood and that his passing was “health-related.”

Guymon said Boedeker’s roommates found him unresponsive Monday night and dialed 911.

Columbia Police spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said officers were dispatched to the fraternity house at 11:43 p.m. Monday night.

Stacey Huck, an investigator from the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office, said Boedeker died of natural causes but denied to confirm whether his death was connected to his medical condition.

Though many students remained emotional throughout the vigil, Wampler and Guymon encouraged the attendees to cherish their good memories of Boedeker, including his ability to make others laugh.

“Cale was a great guy, and set an example of what all Alpha Gamma Rho brothers should be,” Guymon said. “(He) was very social and it was rare to see him without a smile on his face.”

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