HOUSTON – A Texas State University student from Humble was remembered Saturday at his funeral.
Matthew Ellis' death in San Marcos on Sunday has halted all Greek life activities on the Texas State campus. That's where Ellis was a new pledge to fraternity Phi Kappa Psi and had attended an initiation event the night before he was found dead.
The senior pastor told KSAT 12's sister station, KPRC 2, that the service Saturday wasn't about what happened to Ellis or how he died, but rather who he was and how he lived.
"People remember Matthew for his infectious smile, his great personality. Everyone who met him loved him," said Pastor Scott Dornbush, of Kingwood United Methodist Church.
He lettered in tennis at Atascocita High School.
The last goodbye at Kingwood United Methodist Church was in the same place Ellis spent weekends volunteering with the student outreach ministry.
"His parents have said time and time again how that had a tremendous impact on his life and being able to serve others, and so that's a reflection of who Matthew was," Dornbush said.
More recently, Ellis was a new pledge in the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at Texas State University. He attended an initiation event at an off-campus apartment Sunday night, and that's where friends found him unresponsive after 11 a.m. Monday.
Police said it appears alcohol was a factor.
In response, the university has canceled all Greek life activities while they investigate.
"I hope it wasn't something ... that could have been prevented or something that someone saw and, you know, didn't say something about because you know Matt, I know if he would've saw someone in that kind of situation, he really would've been there," high school classmate Sara Spencer said.
If police determine that Ellis' death was a result of hazing or others forcing or coercing him to drink lethal amounts of alcohol, those responsible could face charges of, at the low end, giving alcohol to a minor to more severe, manslaughter.