Passionate and Loyal: Chico State Brothers Remember Kyle La Force

Photos courtesy of Gator Marquis
Kyle La Force (left) poses with brother and good friend Gator Marquis.

Kyle La Force was the definition of a brother.

He was one of Gator Marquis’s closest brothers.

They met last year at California State University – Chico when Kyle was an Associate Member.

“If I needed anything, and I mean anything, he would be at my house as soon as he could no matter what the situation was,” Marquis said. “He had a witty sense of humor and always was in the mood to joke around.”

Kyle, who was a sophomore mechanical engineering major at Chico State, passed away March 27 after having a seizure in his sleep.

His obituary echoed his brothers’ sentiments.

“Kyle had a passion for rebuilding cars, riding motorcycles, and snow skiing,” it read. “His charismatic nature brightened any room he walked into and his practical jokes left all that knew him in stitches.”

He did indeed have a passion for cars. His “baby,” as Marquis called it, was his Subaru. Just before Kyle died, it needed some tuning up so he took it to a shop in Santa Rosa, which is about three hours from Chico. There was a delay in getting the car fixed, Marquis said, so Kyle drove down and slept in the car one weekend only to have to turn around and come back home without it. He was devastated. He was lost without his “baby.”

He knew his way around too, Marquis said. He was like a human GPS.

“He was a Chico local so him and I would go to his favorite restaurants, hiking spots, etc.,” he said. “It was nice because he knew where everything was. I am terrible at directions so having him in the car was nice because he knew all of the shortcuts around town.”

He was a very loyal friend, Marquis added, and his smile and attitude were both contagious.

His commitment to the fraternity was apparent, too. He served as Gamma.

When the men in the chapter learned of Kyle’s passing, they immediately came together.

Marquis rounded up money — $130 to be exact — which he spent on inexpensive bouquets from Trader Joe’s. They wanted to buy as many flowers as they possibly could. A few days after he passed, several brothers visited Kyle’s mom’s house with the flowers and a Lambda Chi flag they had all signed. She was only expecting a few, he said. But when she answered the door, more than 40 of Kyle’s brothers lined the sidewalk to pay their respects. They also set up a GoFundMe, which raised $8,582 to help cover funeral expenses.

“To have a brotherhood means the world, not only for our chapter but for Kyle’s mom who has already been through a lot,” Marquis said. “I think it reminded us that we are all brothers at the end of the day and that we 100 percent need to be there for each other whenever a brother or their family is in need.”

Kris Reddy was the chapter’s High Alpha at the time of Kyle’s passing. Kyle joined not long after Reddy did.

“Whenever I was with Kyle in a one on one situation, whether it was hanging around after chapter meetings or running into him at the library, we would discuss chapter operations, the chapter’s well-being and ways to improve,” Reddy said. “I’d ask him for feedback as a general member (and) he’d ask for my perspective of things as President. Our conversations were rich and filled with ideas.

One time I shared a quote with the chapter,” he continued. “‘Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas.’ This makes me think of Kyle, the frame of mind he had, and the way he saw the world.”

Kyle La Force

He is proud of his brothers for the way they all came together in a time of need. It solidified what being a member of Lambda Chi is all about.

“Tragedies happen. Failures happen. Losses happen,” Reddy said. “They are often out of our control. However, what is in our control is our reaction to these occurrences. What mattered most when it came to living without Kyle was that we still had 60 brothers.”

Sixty brothers who were there for each other when it mattered most, and 60 brothers who will miss Kyle La Force dearly.

“Kyle’s character was unlike the general population,” Marquis said. “He was the definition of a brother.”

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