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Special Features


Eulogy; Kyle Eyre

I am going to ask your forgiveness in advance if my words aren’t as elegant as they should be. 

 

My name is Kyle, I am Cody’s father. His Mother and I along with his four sisters, his nieces and nephew, grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and friends welcome all of you.  As we gather in this place surrounded by our love for one another, we lay Cody to rest.  This past Christmas Eve, Cody was taken to be with the Lord.  His death was beyond comprehension. Cody was endowed by his creator with the innate ability to foster compassion and kindness for any person he met.  Born with pneumonia and a heart murmur, he was sent on a medivac life flight to Anchorage.  Cody was an overcomer, and was home after 6 days and not the 3 weeks the doctors had expected.  As he progressed through school, it was discovered that he had ADHD and dyslexia, yet he overcame again to graduate high school from the Alaska Youth Military Academy in 2015, one of the nation’s toughest schools. Cody always approached every situation with an open mind but, more importantly his heart was always in a place of love. Cody always took time to understand other’s misfortunes. Never a harsh word in anger. He loved unconditionally and without reservation. Cody’s selfishness was kept within the confines of his immediate need. Time after time, Cody would bring another’s need to our attention; ranging from emotional support to clothing or housing. One specific time comes to mind of a stray dog he found. Sick and blind from infection in its eyes, Cody fed and watered the dog, cleaned its eyes, and nourished it back to health as much as he could before returning the dog to its owner. It was acts of kindness like this that blessed this family and made us proud. Cody loved the outdoors and had an affinity for nature, he spent much of his time satisfying his curiosity for seeing beyond what could be seen.  Cody will be missed in so many ways. As a father I can say I could not have had a better son. He blessed the world with his appreciation of those in all walks of life.  Everyone who knew Cody, loved him.    


Commemorative Speech; Samantha Eyre

 

 

 

My heart has so much to say, 

 

Thank you all for coming. I’d like to begin by introducing myself. I am the granddaughter of Linda and john Downs, the daughter of jean and kyle Eyre, and sister to Nichole, Kirstian, Kassandra and to my beloved brother Cody Eyre. I am Cody’s eldest sister and I’d like to take a moment to formally declare to all of you here today that I loved my brother. That I love my brother still. deeply, inexcusably, wholeheartedly I love my little brother. This will be a lifelong truth for me, a truth that will never fade with time. I have struggled with letting go of my anger over Cody’s untimely death and the circumstances that led to him dying. In an attempt to be comforting many people have told me the last few weeks, that time heals all things. But I disagree, I believe that God heals all things, and that time will have little to do with eroding the hurt feelings I have for losing my brother. I was fortunate enough to spend 20 quality years with Cody, but it was not nearly enough. I had anticipated a lifetime. 

 

  My brother was just beginning his life. I will never get to see him get married, I will never get to meet his children, I’ll never get to travel to foreign countries, like we had been making plans to, just days before his passing. The realization that he is really gone, hurts more/ every time I re-remember it.  

 

As a critical care nurse with trauma training I have had the privilege of assisting many patients and their families with the dying process. Even though I am only in my 20s, I’ve had a lot of exposure to death. However, there is no prior experience that could have ever prepared for me unexpectedly walking into a trauma room where my own little brother was dying. There is nothing that could have made the realization after looking at his hospital monitor displaying his vital signs and that nothing could be done for him and that he was slipping away easier to for me to process. There is nothing that could have taught me the right way to look into each one of my family members eyes and tell them that even though Cody was a fighter, he was dying quickly. There are moments in life that hit you so hard and affect you so deeply that afterwards you have been profoundly changed and you don’t have the option to go back. That life as it once was, is no longer.  My family and I spent our Christmas Eve in a trauma room holding Cody as he passed, and the experience has split my life into two sections. Everything leading up to that moment, and everything after. It’s difficult to imagine a future, with Cody not in it. 

 

 

When I was a young kid, I was often asked how many children were in my family, and I would proudly hold my hand up and show five. In Cody’s trauma room, I had my head resting on his heart, and I visualized the image of myself as a young child holding out my hand showing at first 5 fingers, and then 4, going back and forth between 5 and 4 fingers until he officially passed. At that point I imagined myself holding only four fingers for the rest of my life. Growing up my siblings and I thought our mother was an extreme worrier. When times got rough, my mother would tell my siblings and I that we were lucky to be part of such a big family, because if anything bad ever happened to one of us, we would still have each other.  We would still have a big family and a large support network. I remember thinking that nothing like that would every happen to me, or to my family, and that my mother needed to not worry so much. But in that trauma room, after the death of one sibling, I felt fortunate to be able to still have four fingers to hold out. To still have three siblings to go through life with. I had never been more grateful to my mother, for her wisdom to plan ahead for her children, to look out for us and to prepare our family to be resilient during this time.  Good mothers worry, and my mother is more than good, she is remarkable. I am sorry for every moment of worry that I ever put her through. and I am sorry that her worrying was warranted and that she is here today burying her son. It is difficult to be in the kind of pain that I am in, but it is even more difficult to see someone you love, in the sort of pain that my mother is in. Her pain is my pain, and my families pain is my pain. My sisters and I all feel this way for each other, because my mother and my father raised us to be this way. Cody’s death has jolted us, but my family is strong. I am proud of all of them, for the grace and strength they have shown during this time of mourning. For the way we have supported one another. And also, to you, our community for showing up and supporting us in such a big way. Last night at Cody’s celebration of life, I had a moment where I stood on the stage and looked out on the event, and watched in awe as people came out to show my family love in such a miraculous way. You have all done my family so much good. It gives is peace knowing that even though we are strong, you guys are here for us. And that so many people care and love Cody, like we do. 

 

 

Parents should never have to bury their children, and I am sorry that my mother and father, such amazing parents are her today doing so.  should never have to watch their children die, and I am sorry that my mother, such an amazing mother, is here today doing so. 

 

I’d like to share a silly story with you all. When I was 19, I had my first real breakup with my first love. We had dated for 2 and a half years, moved away from Alaska to Montana to attend University together, and at the time our breakup seemed all encompassing. Cody was about 12 at this time, and we spent a lot of time together that summer. Probably because I was super single and Cody being only 12 was easy to coax into spending time with me. He must have eventually started to feel really concerned and bad for me because one day I came home, and he informed me that I didn’t need to worry about being single any longer, he was fixing the problem. This struck me as an unusual and oddly cryptic statement for a 12-year-old to make, so I decided to inquire further. It took some sisterly prodding and investigating, and I’m pretty sure I had to buy him two sodas and a red bull and promise not to be mad. but he eventually told me that had created me an online dating profile on a website called Zoosk.  Boy oh Boy…. I wasn’t angry, I was beyond mortified. I had never even heard of Zoosk and I didn’t even know 12-year old knew how to set up dating profiles. I was so embarrassed and even worse worried that one of my friends or someone I knew might see it. I immediately demanded that he take the entire thing down, but being only 12 and being the kid brother that he was, as he went to log into the profile, we discovered together he couldn’t login because he had forgotten the password. This made me feel even more frantic and determined to get this horrible thing off of the internet before someone, anyone saw it.  I had to figure out how to create a fake profile, just to find the profile he had created, so that I could read whatever horrendous things he had wrote about me. I was soon frustrated with him, and it was even worse because this Zoosk thing had been up for 2 weeks before I was able to do damage control.  But as 19-year Samantha, read the dating profile created from the perspective of my 12-year-old brother, I could not help but laugh and immediately love him and forgive him. I am pretty sure he had wrote, with horrible spelling and really bad grammatical errors a message that read something like- has a very messy room, bad at cleaning, not organized at all, hides mangoes in weird places like under her bed and sometimes they rot, kind of smart and kind of boring,  bad at video games, can’t even get out of corners, don’t even ask to play with her, is very short,  has an awesome brother. I decided that, as far as online dating websites went, this was one of the more accurate depictions of a person, and that if i was unable to take it down, my pride could handle if this Zoosk thing existed. Cody was extremely emotionally intelligent. His heart was always in the right place, he got this from my dad. I’m not sure how many sisters are lucky enough to have a little brother that at 12, in middle school, would attempt to fix their big sisters college aged problems. Who cared about their feelings, and tried to tackle and prevent them from experiencing the big human fears that we all struggle with like loneliness and heartache. Cody always cared, he just had his special Cody ways of showing it. Later that year, he called me at college to tell me he got me a Birthday gift that he was really excited to give me. When I came home and opened it, I was annoyed to find that he had bought me the deluxe crazy cat lady figurine package with 12 accompanying cats. Just to remind me that I was still super single. I shouldn’t have been surprised though, because even though Cody was extremely emotionally intelligent, he was still a little brother, and he still had to tease his older sisters whenever an opportunity presented itself. He was the ultimate little brother.

 

fast forward a couple of years, and Cody was 16 in high school, and was participating in a school spirit week where every day had a different theme. I was home on winter break and he told me that for that the next day the theme was super heroes and asked me for my help making an Adventure Time Costume. I had never heard of a super hero called Adventure Time, so I ask him to show me a picture. When he showed me a cartoon picture of a kid with a green backpack, elderly dog, and weird white hat with little bunny ears I thought he was joking. I couldn’t believe that my high school brother was dressing up as this adventure time cartoon. But then Cody, who hated going shopping, asked me to go with him to Jo Ann’s to buy material with his own money, so I knew he was serious. By the time we got home from the store it was after dinner time. Cody already had the entire costume planned out, he only needed the weird white hat with little bunny ears made for him. So, I set out to make the hat. I measured his head while he played his video games, I googled lots of pictures of this Adventure Time character checking out his hat from different angles. I created what I thought would be a good pattern for the hat, I cut out the material and laid it out in sections on the floor, and I began sewing the sections of the hat together. Cody checked in on the production every 15 minutes or so to see if the hat was finished yet, and then went back time to playing his video games. Eventually it was time for him to go to bed, and the hat was still nowhere close to being done. I worked on the hat well into the night and when I was finished I tried it on and looked in the mirror. I was so disappointed, the bunny ears were completely asymmetrical, the band of the hat was tight on my forehead which means it would be much too small for Cody’s larger head, and the sections under the chin were to short to even clasp properly. The perfectionist in me cringed at everything about this hat. I wanted to start all over and make a brand-new hat, but it was the middle of the night, I had used all the material up and Jo Ann’s was closed. I was forced to go to bed and wake up the next morning to tell Cody the bad news. I was so sad to ruin his adventure time Costume and to disappoint him and let him down after he thought his big sister was making him this special hat. I went to sleep bashing myself for messing up so bad. I woke up the next morning and apologized to Cody about the hat, but he didn’t get angry he just asked to see the hat. I gave it to him, and without missing a beat, he put it on. He told me it was perfect.  He was genuinely so excited to wear it to school and thankful to me for making it for him. He was completely oblivious to how bad that hat was. (because to him it wasn’t bad) He had to practically rip the back of it to fit it on his head and he just left the flap sections untied because there was no way to get it closed. He went to school happy though, and I felt like a really good big sister. That was normal for Cody. He rarely asked people to do things for him, but when they did he was easy to please. After he passed, my family was sitting on the floor of his bedroom, crying for him, when my father drew my attention to his closet. Sitting on his shelf, was the silly bunny hat. 5 years, 3 cities, the military, and multiple moves and my little brother now a full-grown man, had saved the silly bunny hat. He really did love it, he must have never noticed its flaws, he was only thankful that I made it for him. Cody was a gentle soul, especially when it came to his family. There were many lessons to be learned from Cody, and I wish I had had the opportunity to tell him that he was doing life right. That he had a smart head on his shoulders and that he possessed a God-fearing heart that was good.  

 

As the eldest child I have always thought of my siblings as being much younger than me. I can’t help but think of them as “little”.  For Cody, this was especially true. He was the youngest sibling and the baby of the family. The middle of December, I flew into Fairbanks from Juneau for the Christmas holiday. The first thing Cody did after I arrived was take me for a snow machine ride. He let me wear his old helmet and ride his sled, he even started it for me, because I couldn’t start it myself. He taught me how to ergonomically pull the handle, and he informed me that this is how women like myself start sleds. We left from my parents’ home, driving the sleds on the road towards the snowmobile trail.  As we were trying to cross the highway I got stuck smack in the middle. As I began to panic about cars potentially running into me I saw Cody running towards me. Luckily Cody was prepared and was looking over his shoulder for me, the entire time, anticipating that I would probably get stuck, because I have never been very good with trucks and four wheelers and sleds, and basically anything with an engine. He ran back to me and the sled and was able to push the sled and finesse his way off of the road before any cars made the situation more complex. I followed him to an open area for snow machining and I told him I needed to take some laps and work on my skills. He told me no problem, and turned off his sled and watched me unskillfully do my thing, When I was done he took me to a place with little jumps and gave me tips on how to best hit jumps for ultimate height. I thought to myself how nice it was for him to be so patient with me, and that he was really good at explaining things that for him were so basic and natural but for for me did not come easy. My father eventually met up with us, and we all rode together until it became dusky and I got cold. We had a good time together and it was, to put it mildly, a very good day. 

 

A few days after that Cody took me to one of his favorite hangout places, a virtual reality video arcade, where you can come to play video games. I was apprehensive, especially because I have never been good at playing video games and Cody is amazing at video games.  Like Cody had wrote before on my Zoosk profile, I am -  bad at video games, I can’t even get out of corners, and you shouldn’t even ask to play with me. But when we arrived Cody took me under his wing, he put my headset on my head and I couldn’t help but notice how gently he adjusted the headset, taking special care to make sure my hair did not get tangled. The first game we played was basically like being imported into Jurassic park and I literally freaked out, it was so much fun.  To play the game you must stand on this square mat on the floor and not walk off of it, which for me was difficult because I had the headset covering my eyes and instinctively I kept trying to run away from these virtual reality dinosaurs, which caused me to walk off of the mat. Cody had to manually hover around me, like I was a little kid, gently pushing me back into the guided area as dinosaurs attacked me and I squealed with delight. We had another really good day. and I was shocked to come to the realization my little brother was not so little anymore. That in some ways our roles had reversed and that he was now taking care of me, and looking out for me. It was a very concrete sign that my little brother had grown into a man. Cody would have been an amazing father, and equally good husband. It breaks my heart that I will never get to see him get married, that I will never get to meet his children, that I won’t have him as a travel partner to visit foreign countries. He was just on the cusp of starting his life. He was only 20 years old when he died. Grieving his death has been a difficult process. Made even more difficult because we don’t know what happened in the woods. As of now, no evidence has been provided to my family concerning what happened after Cody ran away from law enforcement into a wooded area. We are desperate for the peace and healing that comes from knowing the truth. My sense of safety in the world has been jolted, and I am clinging to god and to my family. 

 

Despite all the uncertainness that exist concerning Cody’s death, in reflecting on Cody’s life there are some things of which I am and always will be certain. (Even though Cody is with God), Cody is also still with me, and will always be with me, as he is and always will be with each and every one of us here whose lives he has touched. If there is some sense of solace and peace to be found, it is in knowing this, that Cody is looking after me as he is my parents and my sisters.  So, I know now that when people ask me how many siblings of us there are, I can always with beaming pride hold up my hand and say “five.”

 

 


Obituary:

Cody Dalton Eyre(1997 - 2017)

Cody Eyre died tragically Dec. 24, 2017, at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital because of multiple gunshot wounds by law enforcement.
He passed away Christmas Eve while surrounded by his parents, Kyle and Magdalena, and sisters Samantha, Nicole, Kirstian and Kassandra. 
Cody was born Feb. 8, 1997, in Juneau, to Kyle and Magdalena (Jean) Eyre. He was the youngest of five siblings and the only son. 
In middle school, Cody served in the Civil Air Patrol for two years and graduated from high school from the Alaska Youth Military Academy, class of 2015. After his 18th birthday, he joined the Alaska Air National Guard, and served with the 168th Air Refueling Unit. Cody spent his summers working for Eyre's Construction, the family-owned business, operating heavy equipment and helping his dad with day-to-day tasks. He planned to someday take over the family business.
Cody was the epitome of a true Alaskan. He was an accomplished outdoorsman and avid hunter. He enjoyed being in the outdoors, whether he was hunting, walking or riding his four-wheeler or snowmachine. Cody always prioritized setting aside time to go on an annual two-week big-game hunting trip with his family each fall.
Cody had dreams to travel overseas, with a specific interest in Tibet. His family was planning a trip to Indonesia in the coming year.
His newest hobby was photography. He enjoyed taking pictures of nature, family, friends and pets. His infectious sense of humor spread joy and laughter to those who knew him and to those he just met. His great sense of curiosity allowed him to experience life to its fullest. Cody's generosity and compassion for his family, friends and strangers are deeply missed.
He is preceded in death by his great-grandfather, Charles Nathan Eyre (Army Air Corps), and grandfather Gary D. Nilsson (Army Airborne Ranger). He honored his military heritage by following in their footsteps, and served in the Alaska Air National Guard.
Cody is survived by his parents, Kyle and Magdalena Eyre; and his four sisters, Samantha, Nichole, Kirstian and Kassandra Eyre. "Uncle Cody" was beloved by his nephew, Paul Bottleson, and nieces Alethia Bottleson, and Topanga and Reagan Hollett.
In lieu of flowers, his family would like to extend an invitation to the Fairbanks and Delta communities to attend a dinner and silent auction in his honor at Chief David Salmon Tribal Hall from 7-9:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12. A celebration of life and benefit dinner will be held in Juneau on February 9th 2018. This event will be at the Salvation Army open at 4:00pm with dinner served at 6;30PM. Proceeds from these events will help with expenses related to his death. All are encouraged and welcomed to attend.


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