Eastern loses a loved alumnus and friend

On Friday Sept. 28, the Eastern community lost a friend and brother. Benjamin Timothy Carr, a 2006 graduate of Eastern University, died at age 23.

While visiting Lake Raystown Campground in Huntingdon, Pa. to celebrate the Feast of the Tabernacle, he went for a swim. Friends and family reported that Carr lost the ability to swim back to shore upon reaching the middle of the lake. Brothers and friends there with Carr attempted to keep him from drowning, but to no avail. His body was recovered around 8 p.m.

His funeral on Oct. 3 served as a time for family and friends to gather together. In the small town of Port Trevorton, approximately 150 people came together to commemorate the life of Carr. Among those in attendance, about half was made up of current Eastern students, alumni and professors.

The rolling hills of this small town in central Pennsylvania, where Carr is from, is to be the resting place for the Eastern alum. It also served as a place where people could remember Carr as a student, friend, thrill seeker and journalist.

Carr, who worked forThe Waltonian from 2002-2006 as a staff writer, news editor and editor-in-chief, is remembered as one who was unbiased, technically savvy and meticulous. However, along with those business traits, Carr also had another side to him.

“He would be particular, wanting everything right, but he knew when you were tired,” said fellow Waltonian member and 2006 graduate Sarah Vanacore. “He was just compassionate in that way. [He was] always willing to help you when you needed something.”

Carr was also a better-than-average student. He was a philosophy major and a member of the Templeton Honors College. Dr. Kent Sparks remembers him as an A student and a brilliant philosopher.

Todd Jaros, a friend of Carr, remembers him in a similar way. “Ben was a huge procrastinator, but Ben was always doing something worthwhile when procrastinating. He always got his work done,” Jaros said.

Carr could not be defined as lazy. He always found something to do, whether it was games like Scrabble, anagrams or newspaper articles that kept him waiting for hours outside the office doors of professors. One story involved Carr and a group of friends traveling to New York City so Carr could turn 18 on top of the Empire State Building. “Everything with Ben was a story. Everything that Ben did was a story,” said friend Mark Tebben.

Carr had taken a job nine months before his passing as managing editor at the Northfield News and Transcript. Great-uncle and owner John Donahue, who hired Carr, remembers the young journalist as someone who was always seeking out the truth.

“In my 75 years of working in newspaper, he was the sharpest one I had ever seen,” said Donahue. “He had no peers. He was good.”

This is how Carr was remembered by his friends at his funeral: from procrastinating adventurer to hard-nosed student to avid journalist. Carr was said to have lived an expansive life, in that he loved everything and everyone.

Jaros, a long-time friend and partner in adventure, sums up Carr best: “He’d play hard and work hard. That was Ben.”

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