Friends took time this weekend to reflect on the life of TCU senior Read Hortenstine.
Hortenstine, a general studies major from Houston, died Friday afternoon. He was found unconscious and not breathing in his Fort Worth home on Thursday, according to a Fort Worth Police report.
Hortenstine was transported to Baylor All Saints Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:45 p.m. on Friday, according to records. He was 23 years old.
Fellow members of SAE and friends remembered Hortenstine for his joyfulness and concern for others.
“He was easy to talk to and was just so full of joy,” Sadler said. “You could tell he cared about his fraternity brothers, and he just loved being where he was and doing what he did.”
Sadler, a sophomore finance major, said Hortenstine was welcoming and wanting to pour into others.
“I always felt comfortable around him and there was just openness,” Sadler said. “He genuinely cared about what you were talking about.”
Daniel Auffenberg, one of Hortenstine’s close friends who graduated from TCU in 2014, said in an email that Hortenstine was always honest and uplifting to others.
“Read was a true friend,” Auffenberg said. “He was always there when you needed advice. Even if he was busy, he would take time to help out a friend. He was great at lifting your spirits if you felt down and was a joy to be around.”
Auffenberg said Hortenstine valued friendships tremendously.
“He loved to hang out with his friends,” Auffenberg said. “He wasn’t afraid to tell his friends he loved them and he did it often. Read never held a grudge and would welcome you back with open arms no matter how you had wronged him.”
Auffenberg said family was equally important to Hortenstine.
“He spoke with his mom or dad every single day, and that’s pretty rare for kids our age these days,” Auffenberg said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Sophomore John Paul Watson, a member of SAE, said Hortenstine was a man with a good spirit and good heart.
“Every time you were around him he made people laugh, and I think that often times someone who does that as much as he did is a testament to a joyful spirit,” Watson said. “All of his close friends viewed him as a person that really made people want to be around him by the way he carried himself.”
Watson agreed that concern for others is what really stood out in Hortenstine’s personality.
“One time I picked up Read and his girlfriend Caroline from the airport and I could tell that Read just really cared about Caroline a ton,” Watson said. “Our thoughts and prayers are obviously with his family, friends and Caroline.”
Watson said amidst Hortenstine’s death, it has been inspiring to see the TCU community rally around Hortenstine’s family and friends.
“It has been incredible to see everyone come together in honoring Read’s life,” Watson said. “It’s a testament to the TCU spirit and that we are a family that can support one another when any of us endure adverse circumstances.”
Sadler said he did not know about funeral plans for Hortenstine.
Kathy Cavins-Tull, vice chancellor for student affairs, sent an email to the TCU community Friday evening informing them of Hortenstine’s death. Cavins-Tull said in the email that the Brown-Lupton Counseling Center staff, Religious and Spiritual Life staff and the Office of Campus Life staff will be available to assist students and faculty needing support.
Cavins-Tull said those needing immediate assistance can contact the TCU Police Department at 817-257-7930 since it is currently a weekend.