W&M concert held in memory of Gus Deeds

Concert held on April 6, 2014 at the College of William & Mary in memory of Gus Deeds. (WAVY/Liz Palka)

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) – His suicide sparked changes in the Commonwealth’s mental health system, but Saturday, Gus Deeds was remembered not for the way he died, but for the way he lived.

Often pictured with an instrument in hand, the son of Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds studied music at the College of William & Mary. Sunday, the college held an outdoor concert at the Lake Matoaka Amphitheater in his memory.

Photos: Gus Deeds Memorial Concert

The concert featured folk music, which was a big part of Gus Deeds’ life. Many students were at the event, some who knew Gus and were friends with him, and others who simply wanted to be part of the event.

“He was very into guitar, banjo, mandolin,” said Robert Weed, who knew Deeds when he studied at William & Mary. “All the kind of the ‘folky’ sounds that I think could be created.”

The Deeds family was also at the concert. They did not want to speak with the media, but rather, just attended as parents. Deeds’ academic advisor, Brian Hulse, spoke to WAVY.com.

“He was one of the brightest and most jubilant, joyous kids that I’ve taught ever,” said Hulse.

Hulse said the college loved Deeds and it was important for the community to show that to the Deeds family. He also said he hopes something positive can come out of Deeds’ tragic death.

“If anything good comes out of what happened to him, it would be that we as a society improve access to health care. Especially mental health care.”

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