Sean Aaron Gauley. Dancer, Brother, Knight-in-shining armor, Friend, Confidant, Mentor, and Encourager. These are all words I have heard tied to Sean Gauley’s name and personality. He was full of life and a love for people. He was a proud introvert and an old soul. He was wise beyond his years. Sean could tear apart your pride and give you a healthy self-confidence in the same conversation. He was observant and picked up on the tiniest details. He had a love for learning and challenges of any type. He had a sense of humor that kept us laughing. Sean loved the Lord and did not hesitate to tell others about his savior. His life was an open book that he not only encouraged you to read, but he would point you to his most important passages. Sean was protective of those he loved and would come to anyone’s rescue. Sean Gauley was by no means perfect, but he was someone you did not have to know well to influence you.
Sean was raised in Owensboro, Kentucky by his parents Jim and RaeAnne Gauley. Sean has one sister, Jess, and two older brothers, Austin- a Mississippi College Graduate class of 2012- and Jeremiah. Sean loved his family and those that he deemed family. He took friendship seriously and held many people close to his heart.
Sean often told others that he felt that God had called him to attend Mississippi College. He arrived on Mississippi College’s campus August 24, 2013. Majoring in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Biology, Sean also rushed Shawreth Men’s Service Club, and was a regular attendee of Grace Community Church. He quickly settled into life at Mississippi College and formed many friendships with fellow students, faculty, and staff. Even those that did not know him by name still recognized him as the “Guy with the roman numeral three tattoo”. Sean’s tattoo represented that he was the third Gauley brother and it was placed on the inside of his right forearm.
Sean loved to dance and any time there was music playing, he quickly found his way to the dance floor. If someone told him that they could not dance, Sean would often say that there is no such thing as bad dancing; everyone’s body interprets the music differently. Sean believed in the best for people, and he loved those that others deemed too great a hassle to love.
Sean also loved to sing loud and often. Every moment and every word in a conversation tied back to a song that he slipped in perfectly. Those of us that knew him well can likely remember the times we hid our faces as his singing drew other’s attention or the times we proudly joined him in a duet. Sean loved the musical group the Flobots and he often rapped “Handlebars” for his friends. His life was full of music, dancing, and laughter.
Sean loved spending quality time with people in informal settings, talking about life and where God was leading him. He always had the ability to take your problems and put them within the context of reality, giving you a new perspective without hurting your feelings. Sean spoke words of wisdom that filled our hearts to overflowing, pouring out on those we interacted with. If you allowed Sean the opportunity, he would be your biggest fan; he would help you up when you were tired; he would make you laugh when you lacked joy.
Above all, Sean’s relationship with Christ took first priority. Sean had a way of weaving the gospel into his ordinary conversations, and he was always ready with a scripture for any situation you might encounter. Jonah 3:1 was the verse Sean quoted around me the most often. “And the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.” This verse acted as a reminder to Sean and those he shared it with that the Lord always has a plan for us and will seek out His people even after we have long since strayed. God is faithful and will never give up on you. Sean built his faith and relationship with Christ on these foundations. Sean believed that the only thing that mattered was eternity and he spent his life preparing for it.
Evangelism was Sean’s very heartbeat. He often told stories about the times he and his high school friends did street evangelism in his hometown and while at MC Sean enjoyed meeting with his pastor and discussing effective evangelism. His greatest desire was that the God that he loved and served would be made known to those around him.
Sean believed that life and the future is so much more than what we have here on earth. We are not guaranteed another day, week, month, year, or even an hour. We cannot live with an earthly mindset, but set our eyes on what lies beyond. Eternity is what matters. Sean once told me that his goal was to enter Heaven and hear “Well done thy good and faithful servant.” I believe that he heard that January 13, after a tragic car accident and twenty-seven long days in ICU fighting for his life, as he left us here on earth and was welcomed in to heaven to meet the God he has spent his life serving. One quote we found on Sean’s Pinterest reads “We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” Sean did that. He created a legacy that will live on forever in the hearts of those who knew him. Sean Gauley was the friend that filled the hole in your heart you didn’t realize was empty. He was laughter in a somber room. Sean Aaron Gauley was an extraordinary person in an ordinary setting. Our campus will miss him greatly, but we rest knowing that the God Sean served is still the God who will heal our broken hearts. Remember, friends, our God is able.
– Brooke Reed, Contributing Writer