SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah is setting up a scholarship fund in memory of Aaron Lowe, the U of U football player shot and killed outside a house party two weeks ago.
The announcement came during Lowe's funeral in a suburb of Dallas, Texas Monday, where family, friends, Lowe's church community and the Utes football team gathered to celebrate his life.
Taking place in his home community of Mesquite, Texas, the service was filled with love for Lowe's family and deep appreciation for the legacy Lowe now leaves behind.
"Even though his life on earth was short and few, he was God's angel," two of Lowe's aunts said, reciting a poem.
The U of U football team flew down for the funeral, and those who spoke included Coach Kyle Wittingham, cornerbacks special teams coordinator Sharrief Shah, quarterback Ja'Quinden Jackson, athletics director Mark Harlan, and University of Utah President Taylor Randall.
"He was the most loyal person I ever met," Jackson said. "And he was a stay-down person; he would do anything for you."
Shah described Lowe as being "infectiously optimistic" and someone who worked hard at academics, making the honor roll three times in a row when he came to Utah.
"To us, he was a tremendous teammate," Shah said. "Kindness flowed through Aaron's veins like the ocean overflowing; it was endless. He loved for the sake of loving, and for nothing else. He just loved you."
Members from Aaron's congregation in Texas shared how he was involved in church growing up. A former high school football coach talked about how even after Lowe left Texas, he'd still visit the coach, his wife, and his son every time he came to town.
He described how Lowe worked tirelessly to get himself to the University of Utah.
"He says, 'Coach, I want to go to college. I want to use this as an avenue to change my life. And I want to go to school. I want to make a difference,'" explained the coach, who did not give his name during the service.
"All he wanted his mom to do is be happy. His brothers -- he wanted his brothers to be successful," the coach said.
Coach Wittingham announced the Aaron Lowe Scholarship Fund and said he will be the first contributor to the fund. He said they will retire Lowe's jersey, #22 — which was also worn by the late Utes running back Ty Jordan. They have other things planned as well to remember Lowe.
Shah said that the team pledged to be 22 percent better in honor of Lowe.
Lowe's sister Davetta Jones read a poem that she said was written by a woman in Utah.
"Speak to me and I will hear, never far I am always near," Jones read, becoming emotional as her brothers hugged her. "Be brave, my love. Do not cry, so see you again. It's not goodbye."