Services announced for Marching Mizzou members killed in car crash

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 | 6:14 p.m. CDT; updated 3:45 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Jeremy Porter and Sean Radcliff hold their alto saxophones with Marching Mizzou.

COLUMBIA — Services will be held this week for the two MU students who died from injuries sustained in a car crash Sunday near Muskogee, Okla.

First-person account

A woman who was on the scene of the accident with her husband gave her account in a previous Missourian article's comment section.

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Visitation for Jeremy Porter will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Speaks Family Legacy Chapels, 18020 E. 39th St., in Independence. A memorial service will follow at 10 a.m. at the same location.

Visitation for Sean Radcliff will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Basler Funeral Home, 685 Center Drive, in Ste. Genevieve. Services will be held at 7 p.m. at the funeral home.

Porter and Radcliff, along with Ryan Iadanza, had visited San Antonio to see a friend and Phi Mu Alpha brother’s graduation from basic training.

A car accident on U.S. 69, the cause of which is still under investigation, killed Porter, 19, and Radcliff, 20, but Iadanza was taken to the hospital in stable condition and released the next day. Both Porter and Iadanza were wearing seatbelts; however, Radcliff was not, according to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report.

An Oklahoma state trooper called a friend of the three students, and the friend began to help inform others. After hearing the news of the car accident Sunday, Phi Mu Alpha brothers gathered together.

“We’ve just been sort of sharing memories and fun stories — talking about that kind of thing,” said Ryan Gavin, 26, a former Phi Mu Alpha chapter president and MU graduate who knew the two men.

Gavin said about 30 people gathered Sunday night and were still together Monday. Other groups of friends have been gathering, too.

“We ended up going online and finding more out that way and were able to get a hold of family members,” Gavin said.

Elliot Naes, Porter’s Phi Mu Alpha pledge father, said he has received a phone call or a text from almost all his phone contacts, lending their support. He was home in St. Louis and unable to gather with his brothers.

“The support has been really nice even though I’m away from it all,” Naes said. “I still feel like everybody is still here with me and stuff; we’re all here to support each other.”

Katelyn Amen, a friend of Porter and Radcliff, is a  senior at MU. She is Porter and Radcliff's former alto saxophone section leader in Marching Mizzou. She said Radcliff was hilarious, though she only heard him laugh out loud about five times.

“He was funny, but his delivery was so straight-faced, and everyone else would be rolling on the ground, but he’s saying things like it’s no big deal,” Amen said.

Both Amen and Gavin mentioned Porter’s signature “smirk.”

“He would say the funniest things and then just sit there and smirk,” Amen said.

“He was very keen on picking up details, and every once in a while he’d sort of catch your eye, and he had this sort of mischievous smirk that he’d give you,” Gavin said.

Gavin and Amen said Porter was introverted, while Radcliff was the extrovert of the pair. Gavin described them as a team.

“Sean would be more extroverted — out talking to people or, on occasion, saying something silly — but Jeremy would look over and catch your eye and you’d just kind of share that moment, smirk,” Gavin said. “It was a really fun dynamic.”

“Sean never met a stranger in his life,” Gavin said, quoting Joey Musterman, a Phi Mu Alpha brother. Gavin said Radcliff was always instantly friendly and talkative with everyone he met.

Radcliff was really passionate about the saxophone and about playing it well, Amen said.

Radcliff often challenged Amen, she said. He spent rehearsals working on riffs from other pieces and really pushed Marching Mizzou members to be better than “just playing the fight song,” Amen said.

She said Porter was also passionate about band. She never had to tell him to practice, stand in his spot, stop talking or memorize his music — he was always on top of it.

“I just know that his heart was just really in Marching Mizzou,” Amen said.

Although no definite plans have been made, Snow said Marching Mizzou plans to honor the students during its first halftime show by having a moment of silence and possibly playing music selections they enjoyed. They will also be remembered on the yearly Marching Mizzou T-shirts.

Porter and Radcliff were good people that others were naturally drawn to, Gavin said. He said the two were friendly to everyone and always welcoming.

“You couldn’t ask for better people to be your brothers,” Gavin said. “They were just very involved in the sense that whenever anyone needed anything, they were some of the first people to volunteer themselves and their time or whatever resources they had that could help out.”

Naes gave Porter a nickname when Porter was interviewing to join the fraternity.

“He wore a tie-dyed T-shirt and was trying to grow out a beard, and I made the joke that he looked like a dirty hippy and I started calling him Jerms after that,” Naes said.

Radcliff was very enthusiastic about his involvement in Phi Mu Alpha, Naes said. He ran for many offices and was always looking for ways to help his brothers.

The Phi Mu Alpha brothers have not completely decided how to memorialize their friends, but Naes said he thinks there will probably be some kind of memorial scholarship set up for them.

“I think the thing I will take away the most from Jeremy was that he always had the best attitude about everything that was going on,” Naes said.

Gavin said they are also considering renaming their current Men of Music Scholarships, which are used to bring in guest performers and musical acts, in honor of Porter and Radcliff.

“We’re all so affected by it, and I can’t imagine not doing that for them,” he said.

Friends of the men have gathered together, eating brownies and pizza and watch movies they all loved, remembering their friends in a positive way. Gavin said they plan on staying together until they travel to the services this weekend.

“They are doing Phi Mu Alpha-y stuff — just stuff we would normally do throughout the year with them to cope with each other and be around each other,” Naes said.

“They’re not the types of people that would want you to be sad about something,” Gavin said. “They wanted you to be happy and enjoying yourself and enjoying life.”

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Jennifer Porter June 29, 2011 | 12:04 a.m.

I am Jeremy Porters mother. Thank you for this beautiful article. Thank you to EVERYONE for their love, support and prayers. Thank you to those who befriended Jeremy and made his college experience so wonderful. He truly loved being a part of Marching Mizzou and his fraternity. Words cannot express my gratitude to his fraternity brothers for their support. Jeremy was a wonderful child. I never had any "real" trouble out of him. I called him my dream child! I have invited his friends from high school to wear tie-dye t-shirts or ties or anything that helps them to honor their friend and I would like to extend that same invitation to his friends and brothers at MU. Thank you again for your support.

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