Gone but never forgotten


Elizabeth Cybulski, News Editor

Junior Michele Atherton unexpectedly passed away on Dec. 7, 2014, leaving those who knew her with sorrow, but also lasting memories that will live on forever in their hearts.

“I will always remember the times we watched movies together. No matter what movie it was, Michele would always smile; she always had a happy demeanor,” Sarah Clower, junior said.

“My favorite memory is when I got in trouble with my parents, I texted Michele and she came over and we went driving around for hours, then we went back to her house to play video games,” junior, Sarah Brazzale said.

Atherton also impacted her teachers.

“I will never forget her vivacious personality and amazing ability to emulate others when telling stories. She will always be remembered; I will miss her and her wonderful use of Spanish even when out of the classroom,” said Xiomara Cole, Spanish teacher.

“I have very fond memories. She was always smiling and friendly and outgoing. [She] responded to many questions in class and wasn’t afraid to give her opinion. She made my class brighter,” Rose Fleming, English teacher, said.

After her passing, Fleming took a quote Michele had chosen that was hanging in the classroom, and put it on Michele’s desk in memory of her. The quote, from Buddha, read, “The trouble is, you think you have time.”

“Little did any of us know that those words she chose would have such a lasting impact on all of us,” Fleming said.

“Michele always said, ‘You think you have time but you really don’t.’ She wanted to do many things in her life time,” Clowers said.

Atherton was also a member of the JV girls badminton team, which she loved playing.

“She was a very high spirited person. She always lit up the room when she walked in with her bubbly personality,” sophomore Greta Rupiekia said, “She was a really good friend, she always knew what to say when you were having a bad day. I think the world needs more people like Michele.”

The team manager also will remember Atherton forever.

“She was awesome. She had an awesome personality.She was always smiling. It made me happy,” Marcos Lopez, senior, said.

She was very outgoing. She had a lot of spirit and enjoyed life and hanging out with her family and friends.

“Michele was such an amazing person. She was one that accepted everyone no matter what. She would always have a smile on her face, and was one that you always wanted to be around,” Brazzale said.

Michelle was known and loved by many people including some of her close friends that had transferred to other schools.

“For me, my favorite memory of us has to be, when we were cruising down the highway, blasting music, singing along with it and just having fun, and then getting lost laughing. Then we would go to the football game,” Gabby Smith, Downers Grove South junior, said.

“My memory of us has to be when we went on vacation in the summer of 2013 to Florida. The entire way there we laughed and shared things that we haven’t shared with anyone else, which brought us even closer than we already were,” Katie Gennell Downers Grove South junior, said. “Michele was loved by everyone she knew. And she will be greatly missed.”