COLLINWOOD, Tenn. — A lot of camouflage clothing will fill the halls of Collinwood High School today.
So will a great deal of tears and hugs.
This is the first day back at school since one of Collinwood’s most beloved students, Quintin Keeton, was killed Friday in an accident at a Cypress Inn sawmill where he worked.
Keeton, 18, a senior at Collinwood, was known for loving to wear camouflage and boots, friends said. The students decided to wear camouflage today as a tribute to him.
“He was a very special kid,” Collinwood Principal Herbert Luker said. “Everybody at school loved him because he’d always make a comment or always say something that made them feel good. He was always doing what was right.”
Luker said faculty and staff members have called him throughout the weekend, in shock over Keeton’s death.
He said most, like the students, will wear camouflage today.
“It’s going to be tough in the morning, but once the students get to see each other, it’ll be better,” Luker said. “I know the faculty and staff members are dreading it. The students are dreading it, but some also are looking forward to being together for the first time since the accident.”
A look at Keeton’s Facebook page indicates he had a way of touching everyone who knew him. His page has been flooded with posts from friends asking to pray for Keeton’s family, the school and community. They remembered his faith, good nature, ability to help others and love of pranks.
“You made the world shine with just your personality,” one student wrote.
“Your big old hand print will be on our hearts forever,” another wrote.
His devotion to his faith also was apparent. Under “Favorite quotes” on his home page, Keeton, who was an active member of Piney Grove Freewill Baptist Church, had written, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me. Phil. 4:13.”
“Somebody made the comment other night, ‘Why does Lord have to take the good ones?’ And I’m telling you, he was a good one,” Luker said. “The Lord needed him a good young man, is all I can tell you.
“There’s no words to explain him. If you had a daughter and he wanted to ask her out, you’d say ‘good, go on.’ We just had that much confidence in him.”
Keeton’s visitation will be tonight and Tuesday at the high school gymnasium, leading up to the 1 p.m. funeral at the gymnasium. Luker said school will be closed all day Tuesday.
Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.