Memorial service today for Upstate professor's son, 11

Published on Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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Ethan Frank Rubenzer

Ethan Frank Rubenzer


A memorial service is scheduled today (Wednesday, Feb. 13) for a sixth-grade student who was the beloved son of a University of South Carolina Upstate professor.

Ethan Frank Rubenzer, 11, died Sunday afternoon at Spartanburg Medical Center , two days after a crash in Boiling Springs en route to his school, High Point Academy. Ethan is the son of Trevor, a history professor, and Patti Rubenzer.

The Spartanburg County Coroner reported Rubenzer was the passenger in a car that was hit by a Chevrolet SUV while during left from Birds Eye View on to Boiling Springs Road. The three-car crash happened around 7:15 a.m.

Michael Eugene Kelley, 29, the driver of a Chevrolet SUV, was arrested and charged with two counts of felony DUI and driving under suspension.

Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe page.

Read obituary here

Chancellor Brendan Kelly’s office issued the following announcement to faculty and staff:

Dear Campus Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I share the devastating news that Ethan Frank Rubenzer, 11, son of Trevor Rubenzer, died earlier today from injuries suffered in a car accident on Friday morning. We cannot imagine the immeasurable loss that Trevor and his family are experiencing, but we extend our deepest condolences and offer love and support to Trevor, his wife Patti, and their daughter Grace. Patti was also badly injured in the accident but is, thankfully, expected to recover. 

There will be a Memorial Service for Ethan this Wednesday, February 13, at Joy Lutheran Church (3980 Moore Duncan Highway in Moore). Visitation is scheduled from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the church, followed by the service. Please keep Trevor and his family in your thoughts as they cope with this tragedy.


Brendan B. Kelly, Ph.D.

High Point Academy released the follow statement:

"It is with extreme sadness that we inform you about a loss to our High Point Academy family. Sixth-grader, Ethan Rubenzer (11), died earlier today at Spartanburg Regional MEdical Center. He was severely injured in a vehicle accident on Friday morning, February 8. Ethan was a vibrant young man who always brought a smile to our faces, and he will be immensely missed.

"This is an incredibly difficult time for our school community. We grieve for the loss of a young life, and our thoughts remain with the family, friends, students, staff and community members who have been impacted. As our school community processes the tragic news and  copes with grief, counseling and bereavement support services will be available to all of our students, staff, and families. We will have extra counselors at the school on Monday and for as long as necessary in the days to come for anyone who may need or want help surrounding this loss.

"We are grateful for the continued support, love, and prayers from our community. We ask everyone to keep this family in their thoughts and prayers. We ask that you, please respect the privacy of our families during this difficult time."





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