Hundreds of mourners–including family, friends, classmates, teachers, teammates and community members–gathered to honor Thursday morning.
The Madoff family of White Plains held a "Celebration of Tyler's Life" at the in New Rochelle for the Scarsdale High School student and athlete, who was tragically swept out to sea July 4 in Hawaii.
The room was packed, with every seat taken including on window sills, and attendees stood along the back, winding down the stairs, into an adjacent room.
The service included speakers close to the SHS junior and begin with a song sung by Katherine Bescherer entitled "Our Love Knows No End." The memorial program included a poem written by Tyler for English class, entitled, "The Rower."
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Scarsdale High Head Football Coach Andy Verboys spoke first. He recalled the Number 51, as a special player, "a great friend and teammate."
"A true leader emerged as I watched every day," Verboys said. “He possessed great characteristics both on and off the field”
Pelham Community Rowing Team Coach Guy Monseair recalled his devoted crew athlete, who touched so many lives, evident by the hundreds who attended his service.
The boat Tyler raced in for crew is now called The Tyler, Monseair said. "They put the lettering on just before the championship race and they won their first ever championship."
Nelson DaSilva, Tyler’s chemistry teacher at SHS, remembered the last time he saw his student.
"Tyler said to me ‘I love you and I will miss you’ and he turned and then he left," DaSilva said of the end-of-school-year farewell.
"We had a lot of fun. When class got too serious, he would say we should take a little break," DaSilva recalled. “The desire to have fun and make the best of every day. This is what I will remember.”
Rachel Warshowsky, Tyler’s English teacher at SHS, said she knew him as living "with excitement, with love, with energy."
“He made me see nothing is too big to overcome," Warshowsky said. "Ironically, he would have handled this situation better than me. Better than most of us.”
Tyler's cousin Dante Moussapour told the crowd that Tyler showed "us how to be a gentleman."
Tyler Grandmother said her grandson was "honest and authentic. Tyler would be the first to tell me not to glorify him," she said.
She spoke of her grandson's infectious laughter, deep voice and loud giggle.
“He is my third grandchild and no one will ever be able to fill that hole he left behind," she said.
Tyler’s brother Dylan spoke about the special bond the brothers shared.
"Tyler was my best friend in the whole wide world," Dylan said. "I just wanna hug him one more time. I love you, Tyler.”
Dylan stood to the side of the podium, holding up his little sister as his parents began to speak about their son. By the time his parents stood up to speak, everybody was trying to hold back tears, moved by the touching memories of Tyler.
Tyler’s Father, Mike Madoff, began. "We are still a family of five. We will always be a family a five.”
"We’re proud of your big, big heart," Mike said.
The father recalled his son as playful, kind, and "funny-ish."
Mike Madoff read an excerpt the family received from a fellow classmate of Tyler's. "He will always be remembered as that amazing friend who was always there."
Finally, Tyler's mother, addressed the crowd.
“He has gone on a different journey, and we must all go on a different journey without Tyler being physically with us," Marianne said. “Tell your parents you love them, drive them crazy and hug them at the end of the day.”
To her son Tyler, she said, “your life on earth was cut too short, but we will never forget you.”