NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. >> Relatives, coaches and teachers stood before an expansive view of Long Island Sound on Thursday and remembered a 15-year-old from suburban New York who impressed his peers and his elders before he was swept out to sea during an expedition in Hawaii.
A crowd of about 500, mostly young people, assembled at a beachfront catering hall for a memorial service for Tyler Madoff of White Plains, who was on a hiking and kayaking trip when large waves swept him away July 4. Another hiker who was caught in the waves was rescued.
“He was hungry for a journey, hungry for adventure,” said Scarsdale High School English teacher Rachel Warshowsky.
“I forget sometimes he was only 15,” she added. “He made me see what the next generation is capable of.”
Tyler’s father, Michael Madoff, addressed his late son and said, “You were truly a gift from heaven, a prince among men. … Tyler, you are now our prince among the angels.”
Clutching his daughter, Mykaela, and son, Dylan, Madoff said, “We are still a family of five. We will always be a family of five.”
Tyler’s mother, Marianne Madoff, who was born in France, said more relatives were gathering simultaneously at memorials in Paris and Brittany.
“Tyler has gone on a different journey and we must learn to live a different journey of our own,” she said.
As seabirds skimmed the water’s surface behind him, Tyler’s crew coach, Guy Monseair, praised Tyler’s strength and attitude and said the Pelham Community Rowing Association had named a new boat the “Tyler.” When new recruits ask about the boat’s name through the decades, he said, “Tyler will inspire children who will never meet him.”