Tributes flow for young lives lost

Bill Athanasopoulos has been remembered for his positivity and contagious smile.

By Kyra Gillespie

The Beaconhills College community has been rattled by the recent deaths of two Pakenham campus students.

15-year-old Callum McLoughlin and 24-year-old Bill Athanasopoulos tragically passed away last week, leaving family and friends of the loved youths devastated.

Callum lost his intense battle with cancer at home family by his side just before 2am on Saturday 9 June.

Sister Sam White said his passing was peaceful.

“He slipped away peacefully in his bed,” she said.

“We knew it was coming – he had been fighting for so long.

“Being at home and not in hospital was always really important to Callum.”

Sam said Callum’s friends were by his side until the very end.

“I can’t rave enough about Callum’s friend group. We had a constant flow of Cal’s friends in our house all the time; they are a really wonderful group of kids.

“They are hurting a lot right now.”

Callum loved action-packed movies, especially superhero movies.

Callum was in the middle of watching The Walking Dead with Sam and his mum Kerrie before he passed.

“It was our morning ritual, he always loved action movies. Anything Marvel, DC, or superhero-related he was all over it.”

Sam wished to thank The Gazette and the wider community for their unwavering support over the past year.

“The support has been really humbling. The kindness shown to us by complete strangers has been unbelievable.”

Bill, better known by those who knew him as ‘Billy’, passed away at the Royal Melbourne Hospital surrounded by family and friends on Saturday 9 June after an accidental fall off a second storey balcony.

Tributes flowed for Bill in the hundreds on social media.

“I miss you more than you’ll ever know and I love you even more. I’ll never forget you, and you’ll always be my big brother and I’m so sorry this had to happen to you,” sister Stephanie Athanasopoulos wrote in a heartbreaking open letter on Facebook.

“You had so many plans in life and it breaks my heart knowing you can’t fulfil them, knowing you won’t be at my wedding or meet my future kids and just be there for me throughout my life. It all hurts so much and I just don’t understand any of it.”

Hallam Football Club paused for a minute of silence before their Saturday game in memory of their teammate.

Beaconhills College Headmaster Tony Sheumack expressed his sadness at the passing of Year 9 student Callum McLoughlin, after a courageous battle with cancer, and former student Billy Athanasopoulos, who were farewelled at two separate funeral services on Monday 18 June.

“We extend our deepest condolences to families and friends during this difficult time,” Mr Sheumack said.

“Beaconhills staff, students and families will have many treasured memories of both students during their years at the College.”


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