Jatin Abacousnac '19
First met Tristan during my first counseling session at the Writing Center and he stuck me as someone who was helpful, interested in the subject at hand and knowledgeable. Well, I’ll always remember him mostly for his “fighting spirit” during PE (soccer) and how he’d leap for aerial balls, or make constant calls for the ball. And that fighting spirit would be contagious! You were gone too soon. Rest in peace, Tristan.
Camille Caron Croll '18
I spent countless hours in Tristan’s room (“Anti-Slouch”) this past year, doing problem sets (always at the last minute) and other work, watching Off the Air or Community or whatever television show he was currently binge-watching, or just hanging out with the boys.
During the school year, Tristan’s mom gave him a stress-relieving coloring book along with a clipboard and an assortment of colored pencils. At unexpected times, fellow students would come into the room and he’d hand them the supplies and they would just start coloring, looking genuinely happy. This was such a common occurrence that I don’t know how many unfinished drawings there were around the room by the end of the year. Nobody ever looked unhappy in Anti-Slouch, and rarely ever in Tristan’s presence at all. He was truly a beacon of happiness and acceptance and love.
It wasn’t until after his passing that I learned of Tristan’s faith, but it is so clear to me looking back on who he was and how he composed himself and treated others. After listening to his senior speech given at church after graduation, I realized how similar our religious experiences were, but how successfully he carried it out in everyday life. With this in mind, I am trying to learn to love and accept people the way Tristan did so well. Spreading love and joy is what Tristan did best, and even in his too-short lifetime he touched more lives than most of us do in several decades.
It’s so hard not to be sad and heartbroken over the loss of such a dear friend and amazing person, but in his honor I try to keep my chin up and be positive because it’s what he would have done, and what he would want us to do.
I remember going to him last semester, panicked, for help outlining and essay, and 45 minutes later emerged infinitely calmer. It was honestly just talking to him for those 45 minutes that made me feel better– he had a way about him that just put people at ease. Tristan will be deeply missed at the writing center.
Sam K Miller '17
Tristan’s room was an amazingly welcoming place… Sometimes you’d just find yourself trapped in there on a Friday night, watching stupid and awesome youtube videos, eating pizza, general wylin, and all the rest. He was a positive, genuine dude, not afraid to be himself or speak his mind.
Joyce Yang '16
On the first day of fall semester, I met Tristan Witte. He was in Prof. Liu’s Chinese class. He was really good at the stuff in class. I was in North with him this past year. Rest in Peace.
It’s not our fault. It’s none of ours.
But it feels so unfair, so ugly and so distressing to even think about
that I end up blaming myself, saying how much I’ll miss dropping by at antislouch;
thinking how I should never have joked about the white lighter;
regretting I didn’t reach out just a little more.
Be young and free up there, we’ll miss you.
Kaitlyn Anderson '16
I didn’t know Tristan that well but he was definitely a strong and positive presence at North. So many people loved him and he was always so kind and generous to me. He will be missed. Rest in peace, Tristan.
daisy olivera '05
I’m at loss for words, his presence at Jay’s Place will be missed. I will always remember that happy smile he always walked in with. May you rest in Paradise Tristan.
Tristan was gentle and pure light….always willing to listen, encourage, and help others, brighten their mood, a joyful prankster, a true california soul with a love of surfing and west coast life. I remember in Math 30B he loved multiple integrals and using them to evaluate areas and volumes of “cool shapes” and he loved using different coordinate systems (“crazy but just as cool” he wrote…). My heart goes out to Tristan and JJ’s friends and family, wishing you all continued love and strength in this most trying of times.