A light that won’t go out

Houston Hart will be remembered in the hearts and minds at Texas High and will continue to live through the cherished memories of those whom he impacted.

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Houston Hart will be remembered in the hearts and minds at Texas High and will continue to live through the cherished memories of those whom he impacted.

Story by Colton Johnson and Madison Brown

When he smiled at the world, it seemed that the world smiled back. That smile will forever be etched into the minds and hearts of the people whose lives he was able to touch in his 17 years of life.

Houston Hart, born Sept. 2, 1999, an upcoming senior, died June 30 in a car accident, leaving behind an entire community of family and friends.


“Whenever Houston walked into a room it instantly lit up with smiles and laughter. He was always smiling and it was contagious,” senior Morgan Cook said. “There was never a dull moment with him. He had a heart like no one I’ve ever met, and he always made sure everyone around him was happy.”

Hart was described as being a free spirited person who lived life freely. He opened his heart to the world and gave people his true self whether they liked what they saw or not.

“He was one of those rare people that truly didn’t care what anyone had to say about him, and he lived life exactly how he wanted. That takes courage,” senior Kristen Clayton said. “He was friends with everybody, and wasn’t the least concerned about what others thought. He made me laugh and whenever I was out and he was there, I never felt alone. He’s stuck up for me multiple times, and he’s always made me feel that I’ve had someone there.”

He was a light to people when they needed him, and he was the same bright light even when he wasn’t needed. He never changed, he kept shining regardless of the situation.

“Houston gave the best hugs and they could instantly turn a bad day into a good day. Just being around him would brighten your day in a matter of seconds,” Cook said. “Houston will never be forgotten and he will live on through all of us. He touched so many lives including mine.”

Hart was an active member of student council and was always standing up, waving his arms and dancing during pep rallies, trying to encourage people to feel the same infectious pride and spirit. He brought that same spirit to the choir.

“Choir was one of those things I never really wanted to do but my mom made me. I thought it would be miserable, but I remember coming in freshman year and seeing Houston, and it was a sigh of relief because I had a friend in there,” Clayton said. “He taught me to never be embarrassed about something you enjoy doing ,and he made the long practices so much more entertaining. His voice was amazing and I know that everyone will miss hearing him sing. He found a way to be himself in truly everything he did, without a care in the world. That is something we should all learn from him.”

Along with this lesson, people can take from his legacy the ability to appreciate the little bits of humor found in the world. That’s what he did. He focused on the laughable aspects of life, always finding a reason to smile.

“I’ll never forget that that’s what most of our time was spent doing: riding around and listening to music. We went to Old Bringle everyday,” said junior Maggie Gerrald, who attends the School of Faith. “Besides being such a loving and understanding person, he was the funniest guy I’ve ever met. I have an endless amount of videos of me and Houston laughing. His humor was something that everyone understood. He was also very mature. Houston overcame so many hardships and no matter how goofy he was he knew what he needed to take care of. Houston was going to go places in life.”

He had a loving soul, and he shared that love with so many people that they will carry with them forever. However, they must carry on without him, leaving friends left to wonder about all the things they will never be able to experience with him.

“Houston and I would always talk about how I’d be his best man at his wedding and he would be my best man at my wedding,” senior Blaine Cline said. “We would talk about how much fun college was going to be because we were going to be roommates and he would always tell me he’d take a bullet for me. I was there for him through everything as he was there for me. He got along with everyone and not only was he the life of every party, but he was my best friend. I’d give anything to have him back.”

He was known for the infectious life he had inside of him. He was so alive, which is why the news of his death left people trying desperately to wrap their minds around this horrible reality.

“I kept saying ‘please tell me this is a joke,’ and they just kept telling me over and over this was real. I felt sick to my stomach and I felt like the air had been knocked out of me. My chest felt like there was a 10-pound weight on it,” senior Millie Fricks said. “One of my best friends since seventh grade had died, and I wasn’t there to say goodbye to him. I just never thought I would lose him. Not so soon. I was heartbroken.”

Goodbyes for most teenagers are normally saved for the bittersweet months after graduation, not for the harsh unexpected death of a friend.

“I couldn’t move I was just in so much shock. It hadn’t been five hours since I had seen him happy dancing with me,” senior Courtney Lourens said. “He was dancing with us, happy and just him being him like always.”

To so many, it felt like something that wouldn’t actually happen to someone they knew and loved. These are the kind of tragedies that people come to speak about at school assemblies, but the idea of it actually happening to someone who was such an influential person in this school and community, it seems unfathomable.

“It doesn’t feel real,” junior Drew Martindale said. “It feels like a joke he is trying to play and [it feels like] he is gonna come back and laugh when we all see him, but he isn’t and it’s really sad and it hurts.”

He loved living, and he breathed so much life into this town, a small town that most people only complain about, and for that, his memory will live on. He loved deeply, and he left his mark on this town–he made this town his own. He was a light, and he will not be extinguished.

“Houston was the most out-going person I’ve ever met. He didn’t care who you were, what you came from, or how much money you had. He was a friend to everyone. He knew how to make you laugh, and it didn’t matter the situation. If Houston was around, there was a smile on everyone’s face. He was the life of the party, and the life of Texarkana. He took up for you if you needed someone to be there for you,” junior Elaina Robertson said. “He was like my big brother. I told him everything and he always gave the best advice in return. I still text him out of habit about everything that’s going on, and it’s hard to comprehend that he isn’t going to reply.”

If you would like to donate toward the Hart family to help ease finances, the link below will direct you to a GoFundMe page.