Friends and Family Remember Branden Atherton

Funeral services for Branden Atherton were held Friday in Brookfield, however not everyone who wanted to was able to make it down for the service.
Wednesday night the University of Eau Claire held a special memorial service to give friends and faculty one more chance to pay their respects.
Music was Branden Atherton's passion and Wednesday night, that passion took center stage.
Special performances by the horn choir, saxophone quartet, wind ensemble and a special ceremony from the campus music fraternity, all groups he was a part of, paid tribute to their friend whose life was abruptly cut short.
"We just showed what he meant to us and what we meant to him," said friend and Phi Mu Alpha member Phil Snyder.
Close to four hundred people packed the Gantner Concert Hall from family to teachers and bandmates, as well as members of the Chippewa Falls High School Marching Band who Atherton taught for three years in hopes of one day becoming a band director himself.
"I wish I could have seen your band and the music they would've made. I can only imagine how good they'd be," said former professor Dr. Richard Heidel.
Beyond the music, friends and family shared their favorite memories of the twenty four year old .
"when he was 2,3 years old we went to the Wisconsin State Fair and he got me and we went to the all-u-can eat pancake buffet and had an eating contest. Then it was who could eat the hottest buffalo wings. That's a happy memory," Branden's uncle Mike Atherton said fondly.
Atherton's family made the trip up from Waukesha for the service to see the people they couldn't on Friday at the funeral in Brookfield.
"it's been a blur. The one saving grace is all the prayers and support we've gotten from everyone from Waukesha, Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire. It's meant a great deal," Atherton said.
The support hasn't just been from the music community.
"The university has gone out of its way to show compassion and comfort to our family. I just can't explain that," Atherton added.
Whether it was his music or engaging personality Branden Atherton left an impression his family and friends won't forget anytime soon.
Wednesday night they showed what he meant to them.