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Friends Bid a Sad Farewell

"Thoughtful," "gregarious," "sincere." These were just a few of the words used to describe Cameron Bruce Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of family members and friends came to Saugatuck Congregational Church to honor the 18-year-old Westport native who died tragically earlier this month.

At least a full half-hour before the service began, the 450-seat church filled to capacity. By the start of the ceremony, hundreds more were gathered in the overflow area outside the church, watching the funeral on closed-circuit TV. Those who could still not find a seat stood in silence, heads bowed.

Cameron, a member of Staples's Class of 2010, was set to begin working toward his engineering degree at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. But on Sept. 13, he was found dead outside his dormitory. Authorities believe he accidentally fell out of his dorm room window.

Few who took the long walk from nearby overflow parking lots to the church felt up to speaking to the press. But those who did remembered Cameron as an intelligent, thoughtful and outgoing young man. Dylan Murray, a high school friend of Cameron's, summed it up well.

"[Cameron] was a good kid, hardworking. He was like a genius. In classes I was in with him he always helped me out," Dylan said. "We're all going to miss him."

Memorial donations can be made to the Cameron Bruce Scholarship for Trumpet at New England Music Camp, 8 Goldenrod Lane, Sidney, ME 04330, or to a scholarship grant, which will be established in his memory, at Staples Tuition Grants, P.O. Box 5159, Westport, CT 06881.

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