Friends and family honored former University student Evan Carter’s stubbornness and soft heart Sunday at a memorial service.

Carter, who would now be an LSA junior, died July 28 in his Ann Arbor apartment of uncertain, but natural causes. He was 20.

About 40 of Carter’s friends and family gathered Sunday afternoon at West Quad to hold a memorial in his honor. Carter’s parents traveled from his hometown of Iowa City to attend the event.

Though Carter’s family suspects his diabetes, which he was diagnosed with at 13, may have caused his death, they said the exact cause is still unknown.

Many at the memorial highlighted Carter’s charming and stubborn personality.

Carter’s father, Keith, said his son always tried to do things his own way.

“Anything you tried to show him one way, he would at least venture out and try to find the other way,” he said. “He didn’t necessarily accept all the established things.”

That stubbornness led to many “silly fights,” as close friend Anisha Sinha put it. The LSA junior said Carter would “pretend-argue about silly things.”

“He just had this unique perspective on things. And maybe that’s why he was able to get in everybody’s good graces in the end,” Sinha said.

Despite the arguing, many of the mourners said he was still well-liked.

“He was so opinionated, but like, not in a bad way,” said Business School junior Chrissy Montgomery, who dated Carter.

Evan Carter’s sister, Erin Carter, described him as a “third parent.”

“He would boss me around, tell me what to do,” Erin Carter said. “He felt that was what he had to do.”

When Erin entered high school, Evan, then a high school senior, protected her by looking out for her and stopping her from being bullied.

Carter, who was studying economics and Spanish at the University, was undecided about his career aspirations.

“He wasn’t firm in what he wanted to do, other than he wanted to help people in some fashion. How he was going to do that, he wasn’t sure,” Keith Carter said.

While at the University, Evan mentored with Michigan Reach Out, a program that tutors middle school students. Manuel Lagunes, 12, who Carter tutored regularly in English, said Carter was just as interested in learning as he was teaching.

“Sometimes on the phone, he would ask me how to pronounce some stuff, and how to spell it — I would just tell him,” said Lagunes, adding that he’d help Carter with his Spanish from time to time.

Lee Harkaway, who coordinates Michigan Reach Out coordinator, said Carter would visit Lagunes at Scarlett Middle School twice a week, in addition to periodically meeting out of school and getting to know with Lagunes’s family.

“He was outstanding,” Harkaway said. “He went above and beyond what a lot of the students do with their children.”

Sharon Vaughters, senior assistant to the dean of students, was charged with telling the friends of student Evan Carter that the 20-year-old passed away earlier this year. She said the job was made easier by knowing that Carter was so well-liked.

“I kept on finding people in the craziest places,” said Vaughters, who called Carter’s friends to set up an on-campus memorial service. “Friends through roommates. Friends from the dining hall. Friends from his Spanish class. Friends from the mentoring program.”

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