Senior Alexis Faupel died Sept. 2 after from ovarian cancer. Along with being a kinesiology major, Faupel was a member of the Wesley Foundation at UCA as well as an avid volunteer with the Ozark Mission Project and the Bryant United Methodist Church.
Faupel’s friends and family held a memorial service on Friday, Sept. 6, at the Cabot United Methodist Church. A slideshow played — full of pictures and videos — that highlighted her life and community legacy.
Bailey Faulkner, executive director of the Ozark Mission Project, spoke about Faupel stood out to her in the project’s college staff the first time she saw here.
“Alexis loved other people,” Faulkner said. “No matter who you were or where you were, she knew exactly what you needed. She was the one to give you a hug when you needed it the most, [or] sending you that text message of encouragement.”
A roommate and close friend of Faupel’s, Nolan McNiel, was asked to give a speech about how Faupel impacted his life both inside and outside college.
“Although Alexis and I lived together and worked together, our relationship goes back ten years,” McNiel said. “We grew up in youth group together. But believe me, I never thought we would become as close, especially within the confines of the ministry.”
McNiel reflected on the memories he shared with Faupel, and even credited her with helping him overcome his addiction to drugs.
As a tribute to Faupel before her memorial service, the Wesley Foundation allowed anyone who came by the Wesley house on 1903 College Avenue to write letters to Faupel that would be delivered to the Cabot United Methodist Church for her family to have.
Abby Barkhimer, a 2018 graduate of UCA, first met a bubbly and outgoing Faupel at a 2012 Ozark Mission Project camp in Texarkana, AR, and said that she was always truthful and open to whoever came her way.
“She was kind to everyone regardless of anything,” said Barkhimer. “She spoke the truth and kept it real, even when that meant uncomfortable conversations.”
Several students at the Wesley Foundation echoed the sentiments of Barkhimer when asked about Faupel.
McNiel, who was present to see students sign and write letters to the Faupel family, said that Alexis was someone who always saw potential in people.
“Not only did she see potential, she encouraged you to do good things”, McNiel said. “As a friend, she let you know [what] hurt her — the best part of [our] friendship was that it was real. It was a real relationship.”
UCA graduate student Maggie Rogers said that Alexis was a comforting person in her life while have she had gotten to know her through the Wesley Foundation.
“She was one of those people who made everyone comfortable in her presence,” Rogers said. “She was one of those people that was definitely life giving, not life draining.”
According to her obituary in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, her family requested that donations be made in her name to the Wesley Foundation as well as Ozark Mission Project through the Cabot Methodist Church, in lieu of having flowers at her funeral. Donations to help with burial and medical costs can be made at a Go Fund Me page titled “Burial & Medical Fund for Alexis Faupel, Age 21.”