Trey Lefler grew up in Loudon, Tennessee. He played sports, made good grades, and had lots of friends.
Trey wasn’t perfect (none of us are), but he was kind. He loved his neighbor as himself. It made Trey happy to give to others. Sometimes he gave in big, exciting ways, like in college when he spent a spring break working with kids and on projects in Trench Town, Jamaica, or later when he helped organize young professionals to volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House in Nashville. Many times, Trey gave in simpler, everyday ways: feeding a stray animal, smiling at a passerby, making someone lonely feel included, giving money to someone who needed it.
In November 2007, Trey was in a very serious car accident, and after several days in the hospital, he died. It was Thanksgiving Day, and he was 25 years old.
At the time of his death, Trey served as State Field Representative for the Lamar Alexander for U.S. Senate 2008 campaign, headquartered in Nashville. Prior to that, he worked as an aide in Senator Alexander’s office in Washington, D.C., in the office of Jeffrey J. Kimbell and Associates, and as a summer intern at the Pentagon and in the office of U.S. Senator Bill Frist.
While in Washington, D.C., Trey served as a board member of the Capital Club of Washington, a mentor in the “Everybody Wins” reading program and a founding member of the Capitol Entertainment Group. Trey was a proud, lifelong member of The Episcopal Church.
Trey was a valedictorian of the Loudon High School Class of 2000. He was a captain of the football and basketball teams, a member of the 4-H program, and the recipient of several honors recognizing leadership and service including the Henry Blackburn Football Award as well as the D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) Good Citizen distinction.
Trey was a 2004 graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee, where his parents, stepfather and numerous family members attended. At Sewanee, Trey was a member of the Order of Gownsmen and Kappa Alpha Order, captain of the Sewanee Tigers Basketball team and participated in the St. James Pilgrimage to Santiago, Spain.
As a natural extension of his generous spirit, Trey had chosen to be an organ donor and gave at least five people new life: two single mothers in their 40s, a 56-year-old mother of two who had been married for 28 years, a 36-year-old gentleman who enjoyed fishing (one of Trey's favorite pastimes), and a 62-year-old physician and father of four who had been on the transplant list for two years.
Thanksgiving, and life in general, will never be the same for those who loved Trey, but the timing of his death was significant. It forced us to approach even our darkest day with a spirit of gratitude. Through our tears, we rejoiced knowing that five families had gotten a call on Thanksgiving Day with news that their loved one would be receiving a life-giving organ. We were and are grateful for all that Trey meant to so many people in his life and for the legacy of living, loving and giving he left behind.
Read the eulogy shared by Trey's sister, Laura HERE.