matt tullos

the compost pile of writer, matt tullos. mostly poems, prayers, rants and naratives... "Gods passion for the world has compelled me to be a contributor in the warfare of grace rather than a spectator in the warfare of religion."

Location: Alexandria, LA, United States

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Article on Bruce Gilley's death in tennessean

Gary Bruce Gilley Jr. decided to let his hair grow long while preparing for a new life in the almost-grown-up world of high school.

Just eight days into that world, the 14-year-old Murfreesboro freshman died of cardiac arrest Friday afternoon.

Known as Bruce to his family and friends, he had aspirations of doing great things on the Oakland High School cross country team and had just finished a five-mile run when he collapsed.

He was always the source of laughter and good times, one of his cousins said.

''He was really a good kid,'' recalled Vicki Smith of Woodbury. ''He was a very bright and intelligent child.''

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Belle Aire Baptist Church, 1307 N. Rutherford Blvd., in Murfreesboro. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. tomorrow at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Belle Aire Baptist Church youth ministry.

Bruce, who lived with his parents Gary and Melissa Gilley in the Lascassas community, also leaves behind two older sisters, Rhiannon Gilley Baker and Ashley Gilley.

Yesterday, Oakland High School Principal Tim Tackett said he had spoken with the team's coach, Russ Rector, to understand what happened Friday.

Tackett said it was shortly after 4 p.m. when Bruce collapsed during a conversation with some teammates. He said emergency personnel arrived at the school and took the teen to the Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro as quickly as possible, but to no avail.

''It was only minutes between the time he got there and doctors told the family he was gone,'' Tackett said. ''They said he was already in arrest and there was nothing else they could do.''

Bruce did not have any ailments, Smith said. The family declined to comment on whether he had a check-up before beginning workouts with the team.

''The nature of cross country is strenuous,'' Tackett said. ''The workout Friday, as I understand it, was not as strenuous as it could have been. It was just one of those unfortunate things. Very unfortunate.''

Smith said the last time she saw her cousin was at their grandmother's birthday party.

''It was in June and he was there and we were all teasing him about his long hair. And he teased us back. That's just who he was.''


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