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Second-year College student Gwen Tupelo passes away in car accident

Tupelo was a Charlottesville resident and graduate of Monticello High School

<p>Tupelo was a graduate of Monticello High School.</p>

Tupelo was a graduate of Monticello High School.

Second-year College student Gwen Tupelo passed away May 27 in a car accident, Dean of Students Allen Groves shared in a University-wide email Thursday.

A resident of Charlottesville, Tupelo graduated from Monticello High School, where she was active in theater programs as a director, actor and tech assistant. Madeline Michel, Tupelo’s theater director while at Monticello High School, said Tupelo always made sure that everyone felt included with “humor and warmth.”

“Gwen was also the student who was aware of other students who might have differences that made them feel separate,” Michel said. “She had a sixth sense for those who were struggling and always knew how to comfort them.”

At Tupelo’s memorial service, second-year College student Will Ham — a fellow Monticello High School graduate who had been friends with Tupelo since elementary school — remembered Tupelo as someone who was always there for her friends.

“If I ever needed someone to vent to, someone to study with, someone who I could talk to without even a hint of judgement or just someone to distract me with wild stories and music and laughter, Gwen was there,” Ham said.

Tupelo is survived by her mother and stepfather, Thea and Robert Tupelo-Schneck; her father, Tom Freeman; and her brothers, Jonah and Henry.