By Sophia Jaquez
Carmen Techau was a 2018 McDonald County graduate who was attending her freshman year of college at University of Central Missouri when she sadly passed away.
Carmen, pictured above (on the right), moved to the McDonald County area and transferred to the high school at the beginning of her senior year. During her short time at MCHS, Carmen left a huge impact on all the groups she participated in and all the people she was friends with. Carmen Techau was involved in the high school band program as well as the PAC Tech Team. Carmen wasn’t afraid of hard work and always gave 100% in everything she did.
Carmen was very loved by everyone for her work ethic and her personality. She left her mark on everyone she encountered, and their memories of her will never be forgotten.
“I remember the first day she was in the band class. She was holding one of those nice insulated mugs with a straw in it. She looked really confident, so everyone thought she was a substitute teacher. Everyone had a big laugh when she told us that she was actually just a new student. – Elena Jaquez
Carmen was really great because she would never think twice about doing something if it needed to be done. When she first joined our band, she played the trumpet, but after the first home football game, we had a bass drum player drop out. We desperately needed that part covered, so Carmen just kind of went ‘I can do it’. She worked really hard to learn this new instrument and actually got really good at bass drum by the end of the year. She fit in so perfectly with the band. It felt like Carmen had been at this school for her whole life. – Ben Harp
Carmen and I had a lot of inside jokes. When the band took a trip to Tennessee, we were seat buddies, and they were playing Beauty and the Beast on the charter bus’s TVs. It was really early in the morning . We were all very tired, so when a white horse ran across the screen, I said ‘Was that a llama?’ Carmen didn’t say anything, she just gave me one of those ‘you are so dumb’ looks, and we both started cracking up. It instantly became one of our inside jokes to look at anything and just say ‘Was that a llama?’ and start laughing like crazy people.
One of the great things about Carmen was that she was always smiling and happy. Even in the hardest of times she always tried to be positive and find a way to laugh. – Stormi Mathews
Last year, I was also a new student. I was pretty shy, so I didn’t have a lot of friends in the beginning of the year. I had band with Carmen, but I also had personal finance. She sat next to me in that class and really made me feel welcome at my new school. We spent the rest of the year talking and joking around a lot; she really made that class more enjoyable. Carmen was a beautiful person inside and out, and it makes my heart ache now when I think about all of our memories. – Emily Chase
When Carmen moved to our school, the percussion section desperately needed another bass drum player. When I first met her all I knew was that she played the trumpet, she had bright red hair and huge smile. I immediately knew this girl should join the drumline. She told me her name was Carmen Techau, and I ditched that for the infamous nickname of “Carmex Tissue”. Carmen and I started doing everything together. We sat together in a majority of our classes, ate lunch together, and traveled together. Like any friendship, we definitely had our ups and downs, but in the end she was one of my closest friends. Her personality was much like her hair; it was vibrant and stood out. Carmen is a girl you can never forget.
– Kayla Reese
One of the funniest memories I have of Carmen is that she would always be singing or humming whenever the PAC Tech Team was working. She would talk a lot about how good she would be at karaoke, but when we set up the microphone and speakers, she would chicken out of doing it. We had a lot of fun working together in the PAC. – Timothy Thomas
She was proud that she had beaten cancer and wasn’t afraid to show her battle scars. Carmen had an infectious smile and wasn’t afraid to give as good as she got from the boys on the tech team, especially Alex. Carmen loved to joke around and have fun, but when a show was being built, she was completely professional and took full ownership of her task. She and Alex had made plans to come back when they could and help at the PAC. It was as much their place as it was mine. There were even some moments when I wondered who was in charge. When I would mess something up, she would give me one of her old-fashioned looks, and usually follow it with ‘Don’t worry, I got it.’
Carmen would always love to show me photos she had taken. She had a real gift for pulling out the beauty in a picture. It was no surprise when she told me she was going to study art and design. – Mr. Bunting
Carmen was passionate about her involvement in school activities like band, tech crew, and library club. She liked to be involved in anything creative. Carmen was always so positive. She was the kind of person who lifted up the people around her. She was protective of her friends and quick to defend anyone in need.
Carmen was a member of my study abroad group that visited Britain and Ireland this summer. When we visited Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, she went into the gift shop. I was expecting her to come out with a Scotland t-shirt or keychain with the Union Jack, but she purchased a corgi stuffed animal, just because it was so cute. She loved the Harry Potter Walking Tour we went on and all of the great picture-taking opportunities because she wanted to pursue photography. She was just a bright, nerdy-cool, very talented kid. – Ms. Unruh
Carmen always lived her life passionately in all the things she did. She loved to be on the tech team, she loved to be in band, she loved to be in her classes, she loved being with friends, she just loved everything. We had a lot of fun times. One of my favorite times was at a basketball game. She wanted a nice pic of her and her bass drum, so I was taking pictures of her. But then she started falling off the bleachers, and I got a picture of that too. – Alex Padilla
Carmen was by far one of my best friends, she was truly an amazing person. She loved photography, and we shared a love of kpop. I remember the day the BTS Tear album dropped, we drove around Joplin like maniacs looking for it with our best friend Brenda. Carmen was definitely a shining star, and every moment with her was blindingly bright. – Angie Alvarez
I have so many good memories with Carmen. When I first met her we instantly clicked and became really close. Carmen was an amazing friend. During a time in my life when I desperately needed a shoulder to lean on, she gave me two and helped carry me along. Carmen had a huge heart and was always there for her friends. I will forever cherish all the afternoons we spent just hanging out and talking about anything and everything that was on our minds. – Aydan Hutchison
When I first met Carmen, I just assumed that she didn’t like me, and she assumed that I didn’t like her. It was pretty funny when we actually started to become friends because we were both kind of like ‘Oh god no, I really wanted to be your friend. I just thought that YOU didn’t like me’. Carmen was one of those people that when you talked to them you felt super comfortable because of her warmth and positivity. She would always joke about not having a soul because she was a ginger, but in reality she was made up of sunshine and rainbows and smiles and everything that made her Carmen. She was a super best friend who always put others first and gave 100% effort into all of her numerous passions. Carmen was a beautiful person that left a huge mark on my life with her constant vine references and her selflessness, and I will never forget her. – Brenda Yazmin