“If you did not know Dylan, he was known for his warm hugs, his loveable grin and his contagious laugh. If I could describe Dylan with one trait, it would be love. He loved everybody and everybody loved him. He loved his family, his friends and he especially loved God,” said Lucas Mitose, freshman healthcare administration major, about his best friend, Dylan Stump, 19-year-old freshman computer science major.
Stump was involved in a minor fender-bender on Interstate 22 April 13. The accident disabled his car and it would not start, leaving him stuck on the freeway, inside his car and with his hazard lights on.
While awaiting the arrival of his family and California Highway Patrol, a car swerved to avoid hitting Stump’s idle car. The truck behind the car that swerved then hit the back of Stump’s car at 60 mph.
According to the CHP, Stump was driving east on I-22 near Harbor Boulevard on his way to his home in Long Beach. The accident occurred at approximately 9:44 p.m.
The accident caused Stump to go into a coma. He was transferred to the intensive care unit at the University of California — Irvine Medical Center. At the hospital, Stump died April 16 of injuries sustained from the accident.
More than 70 people comprised of Stump’s family, members from choir, friends, nurses, doctors and strangers gathered Easter Sunday for prayer and worship.
“I can certainly say (the Easter Sunday gathering) was the most powerful, beautiful and non-traditional Easter service of which I have ever been a part,” said Chris Schulte, sophomore kinesiology major and Stump’s former FOCUS leader. “In the midst of Dylan’s death, we had hope in the fact Jesus conquered death.”
Some residents of Smith Hall and Stump’s hallmates visited Stump at the hospital and united in prayer and hope with arms around each other as they surrounded Stump’s hospital room.
“A memory forever branded in my head – 15 men, arms locked together, surrounding Dylan’s bed,” said Luke Brungardt, freshman international studies major and hallmate. “Tears flowed freely as we spoke of his worth. His hugs were the greatest, though upon meeting Jesus, Dylan met someone who could hug better than him.”
Austin Romito, freshman undeclared major, was a hallmate and close friend of Stump.
“He had a genuine concern for others. He gave big, warm hugs to anyone who wanted them, and I’m sure anyone who knew him saw one of his classic smirks at some point,” Romito said. “Our friendship was defined by the most basic circumstances, but it encompassed the most meaningful and powerful aspects of a family — eager and relentless love and compassion.
Romito said he knows Stump’s life made an impact so noticeable it was recognized by strangers.
“I’ve only known him for eight months but he made a lasting impact on my life and on so many other people,” Romito said. “I talked to one of the nurses last night (April 18) and he said out of their seven years working here, the groups who have come to see Dylan over the last couple days are the largest he has ever seen in the hospital. This is a small glimpse and testament to how many people Dylan impacted.”
Sunny Robertson, freshman undeclared major, met Stump during TWIRP week at a brother-sister hall event. Roberson said she has spent the past four months getting to know Stump’s kind, sweet, caring and selfless personality.
“He is like my best friend,” Robertson said. “Hanging out with him were some of the best moments of my life. I am so thankful and honored to know and to love Dylan, as well as to be loved by him.”
A memorial service was held April 22 at Grace Brethren Church in Long Beach. Visitation was from 10-11 a.m., the memorial service from 11 a.m.– 1 p.m., and the reception at 1 p.m. All were welcome to celebrate Dylan’s life and legacy.
Instead of flowers, the Stump family asked for people to consider donations to a scholarship fund for the California Baptist University’s Collinsworth School of Music courtesy of Kim Cunningham with the specification, “In Memory of Dylan Stump.”
The GoFundMe page created raised over $44,000.
A graduate from Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Stump was a volleyball player and sang in his high school choir. After high school, Stump continued singing as a part of the Male Chorale at CBU.
Dana Stump, Dylan’s mother, said he was able to donate his organs to save and further people’s lives.
Stump is survived by his parents, Dan and Dana Stump, and his sisters, Kelly and Shelby.