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Anthony Rael, 18 -- Suicide

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Anthony Rael was just getting acquainted with NT and with living on his own, but he will never fulfill his aspirations of becoming an officer in the Marines. The Hickory Creek freshman died Sunday of causes still unknown. He was 18.

Rael’s friends and family remember him most for his sense of humor, his smarts and his ability to cheer people up.

“He loved to laugh, and he had a fantastic sense of humor,” Jill Rael, his mother, said. “He loved hanging out with his friends.”

He was going to go straight into the military service out of high school, but his sister, NT sophomore Indigo Rael, convinced him to get an education first. He decided to join her at NT as an international studies major.

“He’s always been ready to die for the country,” Indigo said.

He was having some trouble adjusting to college life, but he enjoyed his schoolwork – especially his Arabic and philosophy classes, she said.

“He was a philosopher,” Indigo said. “He was a thinker.”

Jill believed Rael was on the right track.

“I think he was just hitting his stride in school,” she said. “He was just starting to figure it out. He was really finally breaking away from home and family and making it on his own.”

Before coming to NT, Rael was involved with theater while he was attending Lake Dallas High School.

“He loved the acting and just the community of people,” Indigo said. “Theater and the people in it brought out the goofy side of him.”

Jeff Salomon, Shady Shores freshman, knew Rael for five years. While they attended Lake Dallas High School, they worked on Neil Simon’s “Rumors” together.

“We had so much fun,” Salomon said. “We would spend five hours a day rehearsing, putting in the extra time. He was a great guy.”

Rael’s friends have shown a lot of support to his family.

“People just started coming to the house, left and right,” Jill said. “He has one friend flying all the way down from Alaska.”

Donna Niewinski, Corinth freshman, has known him since they were in eighth grade together.

“He had an amazing personality,” Niewinski said. “He was one the funniest guys I’ve met in my entire life.”

Rael is survived by his parents, Mark and Jill Rael of Hickory Creek, and his sister, Indigo.



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