Auburn community mourns, celebrates life of 'Cam'
By SHAWN SKAGER
Auburn Reporter Sports Reporter
October 27, 2011 · Updated 12:43 PM
Cameron Christian lived life fully, swinging a bat, carrying his mitt, tossing a ball, looking for a game – smiling and always laughing.
He touched many lives.
In an overwhelming show of heart, the Auburn community came together last weekend to remember and celebrate a young life tragically cut short.
More than 1,100 people – family, friends and supporters – packed the standing-room-only Auburn Performing Arts Center to honor the life of Cameron, a 2007 Auburn High School graduate, two-sport star and youth leader who died in a single-car accident on Oct. 16.
"It's important we celebrate the life of Cameron," said his father, Lynn Christian.
Lynn compared the process of preparing the letter about his son he read at the memorial to writing a book about Cameron’s life.
“It’s just too hard to know that the final chapter of your book is being written,” he said. “This book is about the life you lived, the love, the integrity, the respect, the leadership, the getting along with everyone. This is about you raising the bar of success, not only for yourself but for your buddies.”
Cameron, 22, was remembered as a great son, friend, teammate and role model. The Seattle University senior was a talented baseball player whose potential had yet been fully realized. A history major, he wanted to become a middle school teacher and someday, a college coach. His first dream was to make the majors.
The memorial was somber and at times, amusing.
Evoking tears and laughter from the audience, Debbie Christian shared how her good-natured son navigated life and their many bonds, including a mutual love for shoes.
“He liked to make sure all of his shoes and clothes matched in color,” she said. “Just recently he was so excited because he got to go to the Nike employees store in Oregon. He sent me a picture of orange and white shoes. I texted him back, ‘You don’t have anything to match.’ He replied ‘I do now.’ ”
Added Lynn: “No more walking in the door and tripping over your shoes.”
Debbie also shared the story of her 21-hour labor that brought Cameron into the world. Cameron, born on Feb. 7, 1989 in Renton, came into the world a fighter, pronounced a “miracle birth” by the doctor.
“Finally, we heard a tiny little squeal,” Debbie said. “And the doctor declared, ‘I have never delivered a live birth with the (umbilical) cord wrapped so tightly three times. This really is a miracle.’ Cam did that for us the rest of his life. Whatever he did was miraculous.”
Cameron had a stellar high school career that included two years as a starter on the Auburn football squad and three years on the baseball team. He earned all-state honors as a left-handed pitcher and helped the Trojans finish second at state in 2006 and 2007.
Cameron attended Washington State University and Spokane Falls Community College before transferring to Seattle University as a junior last year. He was a Redhawks’ co-captain.
Kellen Kiilsgaard, a lifelong close friend, shared some memories. Kiilsgaard and Cameron were teammates on Auburn’s powerful football and baseball teams. They were leaders who got the most out of themselves and their teammates.
“It was no secret how Cam was such a competitor,” said Kiilsgaard, a senior outfielder at Stanford University.
Cameron attended Northwest Family Church (formerly Calvary Temple), was on numerous baseball teams throughout the region and was a volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club where he spent time with a special 5-year-old boy battling brain cancer.
Perhaps Cameron’s father best summed up his son’s short but spirited life.
“You were a gift from God, and what a gift.”
The Cameron Christian Memorial Fund has been established at Valley Bank at 1001 D St. NE, Auburn. Donations to the fund, as well as proceeds from the sale of commemorative T-shirts, will go toward youth baseball camps and equipment for young players.
Contact Auburn Reporter Sports Reporter Shawn Skager at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 833-0218, ext. 5054.