INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The message was very clear at Chris Beaty's funeral service on Saturday morning. The beloved former Cathedral High School and Indiana University football player may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.
And his legacy as a selfless giver will live on forever.
Family and close friends said goodbye to Beaty during an emotional one hour, 45-minute funeral service in the gym at Cathedral High School, a school where Beaty was part of three state championship football teams. He then played four years at Indiana University, and has been a popular businessman in Indianapolis ever since, until he was killed on May 30, shot outside of his downtown apartment while trying to stop a robbery.
Thousands have mourned the loss of this personable and engaging man the past two weeks. Many said goodbye Friday during a memorial service, and Saturday's funeral was touching, with nine speakers reminding the gathering of the great man that Beaty was prior to a full funeral mass led by Rev. Jeffrey Godecker.
Close friend Joey Wagner, who has done several high-profile events with Beaty through the years, was one of the nine speakers. Fighting through tears, he shared some great news with the crowd.
"I got a sign from Chris as they were closing the casket,'' Wagner said. "I got a notification that we had reached our goal of raising $150,000 for the Chris Beaty Memorial Fund to provide scholarships.''
Wagner has helped create the Chris Beaty Foundation, and he said scholarships will be given out every year to help inner-city kids attend Cathedral High School "because that's what Chris would have wanted.''
He also said they are creating a scholarship for a walk-on football player at Indiana University from the state of Indiana.
Beaty was 38 years old.
Here are a few comments from the nine speakers prior to the mass:
- Angelo Ganote, Fox59-TV television personality: "Chris made you know that you mattered. I loved how he always messaged me and asked me about my family. Always joyful, those are the two words that best describe him to me. He was special. He made everyone feel important, that you mattered. What we wouldn't give for one more day. Chris was larger than life, with a heart so big and a soul so deep. Chris was loved, and he loved well.''
- Rep. Andre Carson — "Mother Debra, I can remember you dragging him to political functions and I think, by osmosis, that created a sense of justice in him that allowed him to speak truth to power. I join our entire community for grieving an untimely loss of our brother Chris. We will remember him as a kind, loving and generous giant.''
- Mayor Joe Hogsett — "It is also a loss felt by our entire city. In a time of social distancing and social unrest, the outpouring of love for this wonderful man, from every corner of our city and beyond, it has inspired something rare in this present moment — unity. Chris is mourned by all races, all classes, by those in every profession. By celebrities who knew him, by strangers who are just learning about him. It's no wonder why. Chris. Mr. Indianapolis. He clearly loves the people of this city, and God bless him for that. Chris should be here. We need him."
- Cathedral athletic director Rick Streiff, Beaty's former football coach — "At Cathedral High school we have some core values that we hope to pass along to our students, and one of those is zeal. I can't think of a better word to describe Chris. Another word is excellence, and everything he did exuded excellence. He became a friend of mine as years went by, and when you saw that big smile, and you better get ready for that bear hug, because you knew it was coming, whether you liked it or not. As an educator, it's my job to tell as many people what Chris' life was, so that they can live like Chris.''
- Brandon Mosley, former Indiana football player and friend of Chris: "Chris took me under his wing at IU, and he never let go. He taught me how to be a student on campus, and when I moved to Indianapolis, he did the same thing again. His drive to make an impact on the city of Indianapolis has been enormous. I can speak for everyone when I say that we were all lucky to have him by our side.''
- James Waldon, DJ and friend: "He will be forever and dearly missed. For the family, I love you guys. I've had this conversation with Chris before, that we need to use adversity and death to do better. We're going to take Chris's legacy, and hold it up high.''
- Joey Wagner, event team owner and friend of Beaty: "The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your time here on earth. Last week, we named my office conference room the Chris Beaty conference room. CB made me better, made me work harder. His smile was contagious. He lit up every room, and the world needs more of him right now. I'll miss our late-night talks and our road trips. I'll miss his wisdom and his advise. I'm going to miss everything.''
- Jared Thomas, nephew and Northwestern football player: "My uncle was a do-er who would place others before himself. My uncle told me that opportunities don't go away, they just go to other people. That same voice that was a pivotal piece to my puzzle is the same piece that gets me through today. Once the tears ease, let's not dream about what my uncle would do, let's just do it.''
- AT Simpson, former high school teammate and long-time friend: "I asked to be last, to close him out. Wherever there was Chris, there was AT. He was the little brother I never had and always wanted. For 30 years, we were a duo. All I ever wanted to do was make Chris' life easier than mine. We knew all of each other's secrets. To live like Chris is to embrace the challenge, no matter the odds. Chris died trying. Chris, Chris, Chris, my brother in Christ, a job well done.''
- Rev. Jeffrey Godecker, funeral celebrant — "To Chris, well done, good and faithful servant. Well done, as an altar boy at St. Andrew's. Well done for being and remaining a man of faith. Well done for your hard work at Cathedral High School and Indiana University. Well done for your service to the city of Indianapolis. Well done for the many ways you helped so many. Well done for your competency to see and our courage to act. Well done for making others more important than yourself. Well done for being that peacemaker. Well done for the joy, not only in your own heart and the smile on your lips, but the joy you brought to others.''
Previous Chris Beaty stories
- BEATY KILLED OUTSIDE APARTMENT (June 1): After violence broke out in downtown Indianapolis after a night of protesting, former Indiana football player Chris Beaty was killed outside his apartment trying to stop a robbery. CLICK HERE
- BEATY'S FINAL MOMENTS (June 2): Chris Beaty died "trying to help others'' as friends describe his final hours that ended with his murder outside his downtown Indianapolis apartment. CLICK HERE
- ARTISTS COMMEMORATE BEATY (June 4): The story behind the artists' mural of Chris Beaty in downtown Indianapolis, and the scholarship fund set up in his honor to help students at Cathedral High School and Indiana University. CLICK HERE
- FUNERAL DATES SET (June 6): The memorial service and funeral dates for Chris Beaty have been set. CLICK HERE
- HELPING OTHERS SUCCEED (June 10): Chris Beaty was a successful businessman, but what matters to him even more was helping his friends succeed with their businesses, too. CLICK HERE
- BEATY OBITUARY, SERVICE DETAILS (June 11): Here are the details for Chris Beaty's memorial service and funeral, plus his obituary. CLICK HERE
- THOUSANDS ATTEND MEMORIAL SERVICE (June 12): For more than six hours on Friday, thousand of friends came to say goodbye to Chris Beaty at his memorial service at the Pavilion at Pan Am Plaza CLICK HERE