A celebration to remember the life of a beloved gay Atlanta man and caring friend who died this week is set for Friday. Tyler Shemwell's surprising death prompted an outpouring of support and a YouTube tribute that will make you cry.
Shemwell, 33, died Tuesday and early indications pointed to natural causes, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's office. Friends turned his Facebook page into a make-shift memorial, offering up condolences, photos and memories of how he touched their lives.
It's a strange, "un-deserving" feeling to have so much unexpected emotion about the passing of someone you once new on a fairly regular basis, but with whom you had since greatly fallen out of touch in the course of life. But when you have this much emotion even after that much time, you begin to realize that perhaps it's just because a truly warm and beautiful spark has gone out, and that it's not just about you at all. May we all be as funny, as good-humored, warm, inviting, open and forgiving as Tyler Shemwell. Tyler, I hope you got all the love you so deserved in this life, because I know you're getting a lot sent up your way right now.
I'm thankful for Tyler Shemwell and the amazingly positive impact he had on every single person he came into contact with. I'm thankful for his contagious smile and his always positive outlook on life. Rest easy my friend.'
Today I lost a great friend....a beautiful individual with whom I was fortunate to have shared 10 years of life with. You were a good man, a fun roommate, could make anyone with the most stone cold face laugh until they wet themselves. You had a heart of gold and a smile that you just couldn't help but smile back to. I sure am going to miss the heck out of you, Mr. T. My life just won't be the same.....Rest well and much love, my friend.
Shemwell died at his Atlanta home, just three days after toasting the end of the Southern Softpaw League season during a beer bust at Heretic. The funeral for the Albany, Ga., native is set for Friday morning in Midtown. Hours later, friends will gather for the Celebration of the Life of Tyler Shemwell at Gordon Biersch.
Please come share with us in remembering and celebrating the life of our amazing and inspirational son, brother, and friend, Tyler Shemwell.
We will share photos and stories of how Tyler touched our lives over the years. We will decorate with photos of Tyler and our favorite 'Tyler-isms' and invite you to share your own.
We hope to see you.
UPDATE | An earlier version of this story stated that Shemwell played in the Southern Softpaw League. But league officials clarified that although Shemwell didn't play on a team, he was "an athletic supporter of the league."