Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

'You'll Be Missed': Teen Mourned after Suicide; Took His Own Life after Six Years of Battling 'Demons'

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

'You'll Be Missed': Teen Mourned after Suicide; Took His Own Life after Six Years of Battling 'Demons'

Article excerpt

THE Sunshine Coast has lost another son after 18-year-old Riley Owen ended his hard fought-battle against the "personal demons" that plagued him for years.

Those who knew Riley best will remember him as a boy with a "beautiful smile" who always went out of his way to help those who needed it, even when he needed help himself.

Riley's family and friends gathered at the Gregson and Weight funeral home in Caloundra on Tuesday to pay their respects and share memories of a bright spark lost.

The former Caloundra State High School student leaves behind his mother Andrea, father Len and brothers Nelson, 19, and Cooper, 16.

Mrs Owen said her son's death "came out of the blue" after a "really hard six years" helping Riley through mental illness.

"We're devastated," she said.

"We thought we were getting on top of things.

"I really don't know where to go from here."

Pastor Stuart White led the service and said it was the hardest funeral he'd been a part of.

The weight of Riley's demons weren't unfamiliar to Mr White, who was not just his chaplain for five years, but his friend.

For Mr White, Riley will be remembered as a teenager who was "comfortable in his own company", "always ready for a smile and a quiet laugh", "insightful and self-reflective".

"He was deeply intelligent and he probably over thought," Mr White said.

While the Owen family struggles to come to terms with the tragedy, it's clear Riley's death has reverberated far and wide through the community.

Riley's "tight group" of close friends joined the funeral crowd, but his mother said the room was also filled with others that his family weren't aware he'd touched so deeply.

"We will never forget him," Mrs Owen said. "He's always going to be part of our family."

In a Facebook tribute, Mr White mourned "another one of Sunshine Coast's sons lost to suicide" with "another family left in the wake of senseless tragedy". …

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