- 17 years old
- Date of birth: Oct 2, 1996
- Place of birth:
Kansas City, Kansas, United States
- Date of passing: Nov 5, 2013
- Place of passing:
Lenexa, Kansas, United States
|Please post your stories, poetry, pictures, and videos and let others know how Houston touched your life.|
Houston Derek St. John went to be with our Lord on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, November 5, 2013, as the result of tragic car accident.
Houston came into the world as a gift from God to Bishop David and Theresa St. John and his older brother Austin on October 2, 1996 in Kansas City, Kansas.
Houston’s day was revolving around one of the things he loved most – musical theater. He was excited to be auditioning that afternoon for the musical at Shawnee Mission West where he was a junior. And that evening was to be a dress rehearsal for his role as Tarzan for Christian Youth Theater.
Houston was a natural entertainer and brought crowds to their feet with his magical voice, his electric stage presence and ability to bring the stage to life. He was a beloved member of Chorale and Madrigals as well as the theater department at Shawnee Mission West. He played on the football team as a freshman and planned to play again next year as a senior.
Houston was also actively involved in Christian Youth Theater, Immeasurable Productions, Stage Right Performing Arts and Music Theater for Young People. Houston was a 2013 finalist for KC Superstar, but was unable to perform because of an emergency appendectomy.
But even more than theater, Houston loved our Lord, Jesus Christ. He never had an unkind word for anyone and was a source of strength for his friends. He often told them that the Lord has a plan, we just don’t always understand what it is. Houston wanted to be a successful entertainer so he would have a larger platform to tell the world about Jesus.
Houston was actively involved in the ministries at his father’s church, Journey Church of Lenexa. The members of the congregation were treated to frequent displays of his love of song and dance. It was impossible to see Houston on stage without feeling his infectious joy.
Houston had no sense of direction and without a GPS who knows where he would end up. He was always smiling and wanted other people to smile, too, so he made sure to have a practical joke ready at the drop of a hat. He had a gift for making a somber situation less dreary. Even as he grew up, he never lost his child-like joy in simple things like Halloween.
Houston will forever be missed by his parents, David and Theresa, his brother Austin, Austin’s fiancée Crystal Dowling, the love of his young life Maggie Marx, many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. In heaven he joins his paternal grandparents Rev. Edward and Lovell St. John and his maternal grandparents Charles and Jean Pritchard.
"David, Theresa and Austin,
Thinking of you and your family today. My prayers are with all of you and Houston is singing and dancing in heaven."
"It's hard to believe that two years have passed since I heard the news that your journey on earth was ended. I was sharing your story just the other day with some young people and telling them what a light you brought into this dark world with your music and talents. Today I'm sending a virtual hug to your family - and want them to know what a tremendous gift they shared when they gave you life. Enjoy paradise dear Houston and we will all join you around God's throne as the Lord calls each of us home.... in His time...."
"I drove past the scene of the accident on 4-35 today and burst into tears. Two years ago today the world lost one of the brightest lights it had ever seen. I still don't understand why your life was so short- but you had more impact on those around you than anyone I've ever met. You are still missed and never forgotten Houston St.John."
"Even about a year later, I'm still thinking about you. I have heard so many stories about you. So many wonderful stories and not a single one that would make me think less of you. You have drastically changed my life for the better. At a choir event a while ago, our school students from many organizations such as dance, and, of course, choir performed in honor of you. The smile on your parents' faces changed me to see how grateful I am to be alive today; how thankful I am to know that parents never stop caring about you. They say the good ones are always taken away earlier. The only idea that I believe to be true is that God decided that you had already lived an incredible life! From my point of view, you are the life of the party, and I cannot miss a single day where I don't stop to think about you. Mainly because I have an article from "the Epic" of you hanging on my wall for inspiration and memorability. You're such a beautiful person inside and out and I can't thank you enough for the inspiration you give me every day. I miss you so much and I wish I could hear more stories about how you made it big, in your later years. I can't wait until I meet you in heaven and jam it out and listen to your lovely voice and get an experience to see how much talent you truly have.
To Houston's family and close friends,
You have been blessed to have someone so special and so talented in your life. I cannot help but be jealous of you all to have shared a part of an amazing experience with such an amazing human. You all have been touched by an angel, as well as me. Houston is always watching over you all; everyone. West is a family and this isn't the first time we have lost a Viking. But Vikings are strong, and West truly proves that we are the strongest group of people around. You all are Houston's #1 fans, you have been there from the beginning of his wonderful life, and I give credit to you for making Houston such an amazing person, because without any family or friends, the person Houston became about could not have happened. There is so much support within this group of people and you are the right group to motivate him to do his best. Just know, Houston loves you all and we will never forget."
"Houston was my best friend in the world from the first time that we just talked and the first time I saw him (at Footloose Callbacks)! It was my first callback and I was so glad to share that with him and I left that place knowing he would get Ren because he was SO Incredibly Talented! I just continue to remember him in my prayers and know that he is watching over me! My prayers go to the family, Maggie, and his friends! “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." ~Matthew 5:4"
"Today, yes TODAY has to be a very hard day for Houston's loving,
caring grieving parents along other grieving family
members & dear friends. "Can it be?" is the question going
over & over in my head as I sit here with tears in my eyes
(like many other today). Yet, with my ears I hear this awesome
God given voice of Houston resounding throughout this room.
Can we ever express to you Theresa & David how much we
cherish all the memories you took time to make possible
for us to enjoy again & again. Yes, it will always be David,
Theresa, ( their two sons) Austin & Houston when I think
or refer to your wonderful family!. Love & peace to
"My prayers go out to all of the famous priests living in heaven like Moses and Abraham. It's gonna be hard keeping up your rep when there's someone as awesome as adult Houston walking around showing everyone up. Miss you man."
"Theresa, David and Austin~
You are in our hearts and our prayers, today and always. Houston will be forever missed, but never, ever forgotten!
With all our love,
"Today is Houston's 18th birthday. I am blessed to have known him. I miss him. I think of all of the senior year plans and activities he, his family and friends would have enjoyed. The most encouraging part of Houston's absence from us is that HOUSTON IS DANCING WITH JESUS EVERY DAY!!!! What a beautiful picture!!! Have a joyous 1st birthday in Heaven, Sweet Houston!!!"
"So I found this paperclip in the bottom of my backpack, and there's a funny story behind it! So before guys and dolls, the musical at our high school, I was terrified because I was a hot box dancer and was having back problems and knew I wasn't the best dancer. Well I went up to Houston and told him how nervous and scared I was and how I wish I had some of his talent and he smiled and said "come with me" and he went into the dressing room and got a paperclip out of his backpack. He did this funny little dance and said "there, now some of my talent and luck is in the paperclip." and gave it to me. It was the weirdest thing someone's ever done for me but that little paperclip helped me so much that performance. I just found the paperclip in the bottom of my backpack the day before my finals week and I know some of Houston's luck must still be in it."
"Houston... what else can I say about him other than the fact that he was almost perfect. He could bring a smile to anyone's face no matter what they were going through. He never did say anything bad about or toward anyone. I miss him and wish he could have stayed here longer but at least we know he is with God, Elvis, and Michael Jackson having a great time and is watching over us."
"Happy Easter Houston!"
"My favorite memory with Houston happened a year ago today at Epcot in Orlando. We were just about the only two in the group who weren't hungry, so we separated from everyone else, just me and him. We went over to see Captain EO, which I remember so clearly cause when Michael Jackson came on screen, Houston shouted "Yeah Michael!" (It was us and like 3 other people in the theater). Then we went and rode the Finding Nemo ride and sat through Turtle Talk with Crush, which Houston decided to sit on the floor with all the little kids to watch, and tried to text me to go sit with him but I refused and stayed up with the parents. After that, we ate at the space cafe and he started talking about all these Michael Jackson conspiracies and how there was evidence and proof that he was still alive as a man with a different name (I forgot the name though). He kept telling me to just tell him to shut up if I got bored, but I never did, I was truly interested in what he was saying. I also happen to remember that we were wearing our matching sweaters that day, haah. I think this is the day that brought us much closer than we already were. What I wouldn't give to have another day like this with him."
"I have been thinking about you a lot recently my dear sweet boy. Not a single day goes by without wishing you were here with all of us. I'll never forget that last day you and I spent together, oh how precious it was. I know you are watching over all of us next to Jesus, and my upcoming journey to India is a little more peaceful knowing that you will be seeing it all with me. I love you"
I didn't want to miss the opportunity to share with you this story about how Houston is still in our lives.
The kids and I were on our way home from "Annie" rehearsal and were talking about how the rehearsal had gone. We were talking about how certain people make a rehearsal better by just being there and how others are an encouragement etc.
I said that it is always good to encourage others and that I had heard that Houston was quite an encourager.
They immediately began to speak of him with love and appreciation. "You would say, 'you did a great job Houston' and he would come back with, 'you did a great job too'. He always made people feel like they were important."
Just another example of his talent being so much more than singing and dancing. He truly changed the lives of the people he came into contact with. I am so sad that my kids didn't get to be with him longer.
I just wanted to share this with you. Houston will not be forgotten. He is
forever woven into the tapestry of our lives.
I love you my friend."
Well here at Immeasurable Productions, we just finished our performances of Bye Bye Birdie a few days ago. This is the last show you auditioned for before the accident. Our cast dedicated each show to you. I think you would've been proud. Every performance was excellent if I do say so myself, although I think many of our cast would agree that there was a Houston-shaped hole in the show. We would've really enjoyed working with you again. But I am grateful for the time we had with you and for the gift it was to get to know you and your sweet family.
"Houston - been watching videos of you this morning and I have to say that you were something else. There are so many that miss you terribly but there are three in particular that I am thinking about today. When you chat with Jesus today, would you please ask him to send some special angels to be with your mom and dad and Austin. They miss you so much and I am concerned about them. Please ask Him to surround them with a love.and peace that only He can provide. We dont grieve for you because we know that you have reached the finish line and are rejoicing with the king! We grieve for those that are left behind to carry on without you. So, if you could do that for me I would really appreciate it. I love you kid!"
"Hey Houston! Here is a tribute video that Abby Wolff made for you that we showed before Bye Bye Birdie. Miss you so much!
"Houston would always bug me to be his partner for physics PROMISING he would do the work (which he would never do and make me do all of it) and not fall asleep or talk the whole time, haha! Each time I would let him because I mean come on, it's Houston! One day we are doing a "projectile motion" lab where we used nerf guns to shoot how far they went and how fast they went, etc. I would make Houston go get us a new gun everytime, and somehow he thought it was funny to get the one that barely worked. Each time you would touch the trigger lightly, it would shoot. I remember the first two times I said, "Look bud. We gotta be serious here. Let's just get the data first and then we can have fun with the nerf guns". That didn't last. Every time I would barely touch the gun, it would go off and Houston got mad the first few times, but then we couldn't take it anymore and just decided it was hilarious and we wouldn't stop laughing. It was the best memory, because we laughed SO hard that day feeling like we were going to explode from it. I can still remember that day perfectly.
I also remember the day he came back after his surgery from his appendix being taken out. That was also a great day. He wanted to be my partner and of course I let him, knowing he had been so far behind and needed some help. We were in a group with two other smart kids, while we just sat back and talked. His voice was raspy from a tube he had, he said. So he decided to get his voice back in that 90 minute class period by talking NON-STOP to me. He talked about Maggie and how much he loved her, he talked about Disney World and how he would love to go back, showing me the pictures of his turkey legs, telling me his diet one of the days in Disney (man he can eat a lot) haha, and just being such a sweetheart and trying to "woo" me over with his stories and how he was such a great guy. You could tell he had a sense of realness; he wasn't the guy who tried to fit in with everyone,
he was a friend to everyone he met and never said one thing negative toward anybody.
Houston, I miss you so much! I wonder what would be happening if we both were in that class still. We'd probably fail but it's okay, because knowing you was one of the best things in my life, HANDS DOWN. I love you and I know you are totally safe now, whether you are eating turkey legs or you're singing in Jesus' choir now. You are always going to be in my heart, and I thank your wonderful parents for raising you to never be judgmental, and acting so truthful and kind to me when I felt like no one else did."
"It's Christmas and you're on my mind, Houston. I miss you with all of my heart. I hope you're having fun partying with your main dude up there in Heaven. I just wish I could have given you the bottle of Pink Chiffon and that CD of really bad covers of Michael Jackson songs I promised you. I know you would have LOVED that. :) Love and miss you dearly!!"
"I am so grateful for the time that I had with Houston. He was one of the most talented people I have ever met. He had big talent and an even bigger heart. He never failed to make me laugh and he was always the one to give me a big bear hug when I was sad. He was more than a friend, he was an inspiration and the best little brother I could ever have. The world is a bit more grey without him, but heaven has truly gained one rockin angel! I would give anything to have you singing next to me again, Houstano. I take comfort in the fact that this is not goodbye, but see you soon. We will be dancing to "Jump On It" again in time! I love you Houstano! You will always be a part of my heart."
"Houston St John was one of those people that was constantly smiling, unless whatever starring roll he was occupying required otherwise. Everything about him radiated life. The sheer vitality that comes with dancing and singing and enjoying each breath. I hope that he truly is in paradise now and continues that love of simply being. We will miss you so much.
Shortly after finding out about Houston's death, I composed a poem for him.
Some people tell me that
I’m a college freshman now, so,
come on. It’s time to move on
past the high school mascot
and old colors, onto my new life
in a new city where it’s all blue.
I tried to forget the many times that
I told myself and others
“Once a Viking, always a Viking.”
I said that college would be different,
that there would not be as many deaths
and my new friends would not have to
Then, all of a sudden, initials
began to pop up on my Twitter feed.
Too many times this phenomena occurred
but I was fine.
Because even though Andre was
an inspiration, a name whispered
throughout the tiled hallways
and wooden doors,
that’s where it ended for me.
I didn’t know Andre personally.
Or Ashton, or Tom, or Grant,
or Nick, or Sam, or Kelsey,
Not only did initials start
to pop up on my phone again
but I got a fateful text
“Did something happen at SMW?”
This time, I didn’t just recognize,
I knew the name that was
all over the web.
The boy that I had cat-called and
hugged after Spotlight Spectacular
The boy that I had seen my sister
hang out with in middle school
The boy that was going to be
the next Michael Jackson
It doesn’t make sense to me-
that saying that everyone keeps repeating-
“Only the good die young”
because it isn’t fair that I get to stay
and he has to go.
The halls of my high school will mourn
yellow and black as
everyone that repeats the phrase
that seems almost like a motto
for our school
“Once a Viking, always a Viking”
Not because our alumni are
always supportive and present,
but because we need a way to hold on
to the ones ripped from our halls too soon."
"Houston, I miss you so much. You were a rare breed. I never knew so much talent and humility and genuine sweetness could exist in one person. You were a ray of light to all of us and will be severely missed."
Your SM West Madrigals did you proud today as they won the 99.7 Holiday Music contest and sang with a rock band. You would have rocked out to American Authors, but you know that don't you? Coach V said you were there with us - and I believe it! Every time I look at the Madrigals it seems there is a space the group is leaving for you. Keep rockin' and rollin' in heaven and thank you for the influence you had on all of us.
Houston St. John, forever!"
"Such a hard time... Houston was such a beautiful example of what it looks like to love others and shine so bright. He engulfed the stage with his presence, adding a little bit of his Michael Jackson/Elvis persona to everything. He dived into friendships like you've been friends since preschool. A truly incredible guy. My heart is hurting deeply at the loss of him here on earth, but I'm also so anxious to see him in heaven."
"While we mourn the loss of a friend and the memories we had yet to share, let us also celebrate the memories we did. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." This was the theme verse from Joseph, the show I did with Houston St John. Looking back, this is something I saw him do every day. I know this is one of the many things for which Houston will be remembered."
"My dearest Houston,
I never ever thought I would be writing something like this but here I am. You had so much talent and a beautiful heart. You cared about everyone and even though you were an amazing singer and dancer you never rubbed it in anyone's face. You were my freshman crush and became my little brother who I loved as if we were related. Because of you I wanted to be a better singer and person. I will always remember your obsession with turkey legs and the first time you let me touch your hair. You truly were one of a kind and will be deeply missed. Not a moment goes by that my heart isn't breaking because I know I won't get to see you until I join you in heaven. However I can receive some solace in knowing you are having a ball with Michael Jackson and Elvis. I am so blessed to have had the time with you that I did and to say that you were like a brother to me. I talked to your mom today and even though she's hurting know that everyone and I will be there for her and your entire family. I love you more than words can express. Say hi to Ashton, Andre, Nick, Tom, and Grant for me. Love you Houston St John"
"I never had the joy of meeting Houston or seeing him perform. From everything I've heard through out CYT family I know I would have been awed and inspired by him. As I've experienced his loss in my own way it has had such a profound impact in my faith in God and my love for his son Jesus. Houston's legacy will surely live on and I will be sure my budding young actor Andrew will know how special Houston is. My heart goes out to your family and I can assure you, we will never forget!"
"The Geil family misses Houston! He made everyone around him better, and as a performer and a person, he's a stand-out!!!"
"The first time I saw Houston was during Footloose earlier this year. His performance was great, and a friend who had been in the production had told me he was nothing but kind. Although I did not get the chance to say congratulations, I believe God wanted me to meet Houston, and we met during CYT's The Drowsy Chaperone camp this summer. Along with being talented, he was truly a man of God, and it was obvious in the way he treated others. I was looking forward to seeing him on November 5, as I was helping with Tarzan, but unfortunately he had gone to be with the Lord. However, he was there during every show, and we could feel it. Although I did not know Houston long, he definitely impacted my life, and I will continue to pray for the St. Johns and all of his friends for a long time."
"Every day I think about Houston and am so thankful for his legacy. From the first time I saw him at auditions in Joseph, to the Monday night tech rehearsal at Tarzan, Houston was always such a positive role model and influence to all around him. He was such a sweet, thoughtful guy, who always put others above himself. One of my favorite memories was when he would always randomly come up and smell my hair. He was so fun loving and always knew how to crack a joke. If you looked in the corner, you would see Houston practicing his moves. He was so very talented, yet so humble. I so wish that he could be performed the role of Tarzan. He worked so hard in rehearsals and brought such a fun energy to the show. His impact on the cast was huge, he really deserved the brave heart. I loved watching him try out the ropes and the elevator. It was such an honor to perform in his honor. Houston had so many great qualities that are so important in a friend. His relationship with the Lord is inspiring. The amount of people impacted by him continues to amaze me. I know The Lord has great plans through Houston, which played out in his life and will continue to play out through our memories. I can't write this without sounding cliche or repetitive, because words truly don't describe the great young man and friend Houston was to all. Thank you Houston, for continually being an inspiration in faith and life."
"I had an extremely vivid dream about Houston last night. I dreamt that he came back to see his family and Maggie and some friends just for a short time and assisted his dad onstage in a sermon. He wasn't here to say anything profound but just to hang out for an afternoon or so. The interesting thing was that everyone somehow knew how temporary his time was, so they all cherished every minute of it like it might be their last minute with him. I was sad to wake up and find I'd been dreaming. It was a reminder to me how precious and short is our time with family."
"I am a friend of Rob Moritz who informed me of Houston's tragic death. To the family, thank you for uploading to Youtube the videos of Houston in the days following his death. I read Austin's tribute and watched many of those videos along with looking at the many wonderful pictures that have been uploaded to this site. As a Christian brother, I am so sorry to see this young life end far too soon. The letter he wrote to himself that you uploaded here is an amazing testament to this young man's faith in God as well as a testament to your family. May God use his life and your family's response to his passing to comfort others and bring more people into the Kingdom for eternity. God bless you all, Andrew Scott"
"My daughter, Abigail, is a CYT alum and a big fan of Houston. I was blessed to see your precious son in CYT's Footloose. I am sorry that I did not get to meet him personally. My heart has been so heavy for these last two weeks since hearing about your loss. I hope that it brings you some comfort to know that Houston touched the lives of so many people in such a powerful way. Your family is in my prayers. God bless you."
"This is a beautiful tribute to Houston written by his brother Austin. It made me cry as I read the beautiful comments he made. We have so many wonderful photos of Houston that Austin took for us. I love my sons dearly!!!
"Theresa and David,
I just heard about Houston and I am so sorry for your loss. I can't believe it has been 10 years since I have seen you and your family. Even though we lost touch, you were never forgotten and Houston will never be forgotten either. All of the people whose lives he touched will always remember him fondly. My heart goes out to you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers."
"I remember seeing Houston for the first time on stage in CYT KC's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." He played the role of Pharaoh, and he blew me away! When God gave me the opportunity to direct Houston in "The Drowsy Chaperone." I learned then how humble and kind and Christ-centered Houston was to everyone he met. David, Theresa, Austin, Crystal, and Maggie - I send daily prayers to our Father for you. I thank God for His gift of you all and Houston in CYT and my life. Love you!!!"
"Houston and Maggie met while playing Willard and Rusty in last year's production of Footloose directed by my son Jeremy. Jeremy ( and Mindy, the choreographer) were also excited about Houston being an incredible Conrad Birdie in the production next month of Bye Bye Birdie over Christmas Break. I would have LOVED to see him do it-- I know he would have been electrifying and hilarious!
Most of all I wish we could have seen what he might have accomplished in life over time. The words of the tribute I gave to my niece Breanna-- whose life was likewise cut short by a sudden and tragic accident-- apply to you also, Houston, and your wonderful family:
Love, Rob and the Moritz's"
"Houston and I were friends for five years. To see one of my good friends go before me is a hard thing to do. Houston was a person I would always laugh with, and now all I can do is laugh alone. I am going to stop by your place of rest one day and again laugh with you. I know you are having fun dancing with MJ singing with Elvis and playing catch with Andre. See you soon."
"Well Houston, it's been a week. I still can't believe you're gone. However, I think you've been watching over all of us this past week. I cannot express how much you will be missed. But
I can also not express how much you are loved. Have fun in heaven, I know you already are. We love you pharoah."
"Dear Mr. & Mrs. St. John,
My heart goes out to you both and to Austin. I am so sorry for your loss, and can only imagine your sorrow. Houston was a special person to me, and I will miss his smiling face. He was a special light to all of us.
"Hello, I am the aunt of Rebecca Whitman. My mother told me about your wonderful son and your tragic loss. I am so sorry, such a talented soul from what I have read. May you somehow find peace."
"We are saddened for the loss of your son. All we have heard about Houston is how vibrant and full of life he was. God made only ONE Houston St. John and he had admirable attributes that will live on with family and friends. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers here in Dallas. David & Theresa - you are loved and appreciated. Eddie/Adela/Araceli/Maritza/Lori and Angelica"
"As a member of Starlight Theatre's Blue Star nominating committee, I had the opportunity to enjoy Houston's performance in "Guys & Dolls" last year. He was one of those people who seemed to be born to inhabit the stage, and I am grateful to be among those he shared his gift with. My heart goes out to his family and friends. His time here was too brief, but what a shining moment it was."
"My daughter Maggie Mulligan was blessed with the opportunity to be in Stage Right’s Les Miserables with Houston, and in a CYT acting class. She refers to Houston as her best friend and I know that was one of his many gifts – he made everyone feel special! She will miss him terribly but remember him always. We are all truly better for knowing him."
"David and Theresa,
Our hearts are broken for you. We lift you and your family up in prayer and know God is wrapping His loving arms around you as you walk through this pain. Houston was an amazing young man. We love you and send our love and hugs as well as our prayers for peace and comfort. Coach Jaime, Pam, and Brook Quinones from Lovington, NM"
"My prayers are with the St. John family! Although we do not know each other my heart breaks for you! I have a 17 and 13 year old performing this weekend with Spotlight Oak Park (formerly CYT Oak Park). The cast heard that the Lord has taken Houston to be with him, and have dedicated are show to him. The cast of Great American Tall Tales is praying for you. May the God of Peace comfort you"
"Dear David and Theresa, Levita and I are so sorry to hear about your loss. We pray that all the words of comfort that you guys have conveyed to your sheep as loving shepherds, will become sources of strength, comfort, and peace during this time of grief. It sounds like that Houston was a hoot to be around, wish we could had met him. Love from Burkburnett, Tx, the West"
"Pastor David and Theresa, Houston was a great young man. It was an honor to teach both of your boys. We love you guys, and I will treasure the time I had with Houston. I pray that God will give you strength each day as you walk down this road. I will be coming by to say hello soon."
"Our prayers are with the entire family. So sad for the SMW community to lose such a wonderful individual! We know you will take comfort in the Lord who has Houston in the palm of His hand! Houston's aunt Rachel (Mommy Rachel to us) provided day care for our Nicole many years ago when we were introduced to your family. Romans 8:38-39"
"You all are in our thoughts and prayers today and in the coming days, weeks and months. Hugs and prayers from South Carolina"
"I cannot tell you how much I am blessed to have know Houston. What a gift from God. What a Faith filled family with wonderful children and parents. You've done everything right. The song "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe helps me picture his 1st moment of complete joy! I know that Houston is showing Jesus some Micheal & Elvis dance moves as we speak and helping out the angelic choirs."
"Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I'll miss you, until we meet again. I truly believe that Houston is in Heaven and I know we all hope we get to see and be with him again. He always brought a smile to our faces and his voice left people gaping at him in awe. He had true talent that he used to brighten up people's lives.Houston will be truly missed."
"I remember watching Houston for the first time at a choir concert. He brought so much life to what he was singing. You could feel the passion that he had for performing. Although I didn't know him personally, my heart was so very heavy to know of his passing. I pray that the St. John family will be able to find peace and healing from this tragic loss."
"I remember when Houston auditioned for his first CYT product, Joseph. There was no doubt once he opened his mouth and began to sing that he would be the perfect Pharaoh. Then as we got to know him, we learned he was not only extremely gifted, but a hard worker, smart, a joy to have around, and just a great human being. What a bright light he was!"
"The thing I enjoyed most about Houston, besides his amazing entertainment ability, was the way he loved his mom and dad. Watching him in the hallways at school when his mom was around was wonderful - filled with love and respect, always. And how he greeted his parents after shows - they lit up his life, as much as he lit up theirs. My heart and prayers are yours during this time."
"Houston had a presence that was effervescent. To see him come alive on stage was a real treat. He was so loved. Our most sincere condolences to his family. The West community is with you in this time. David, Theresa and Austin, our family hopes you are met with the warmth you've always offered to others. Houston had an amazing support system in you.--Brian, Amy, Ann and Emily Wade."
"My thoughts and prayers are with you as you grieve the loss of Houston.
I loved to watch him at Shawnee Mission West when ever he took the stage. He performed with a talent well beyond his years. He will truly be missed."
"We are so blessed to have known Houston. David & Theresa you had an amazing son. In this short time that we have known him through Maggie, Houston really lived, I mean really lived each day to his fullest. Our thoughts and prayers are with you David, Theresa, Austin, Crystal and Maggie. Love Stephanie, Mike, Nathan and Olivia."
"My son Kaleb was blessed to have been roommates with Houston when they both spent a week at Broadway at Baker for "All Shook Up." Kaleb has wonderful memories of heartfelt conversations about God and life, that usually went until 3:00 in the morning. They spent only a week together at camp, but Houston's spirit and faith will stay with my son forever. Prayers and condolences to his family."
"To the family : my sincere condolences. There is no greater pain than the death of a loved one. Sometimes it seems almost more than a person can bear. Jehovah God helps us with this in His word, He promises us that He will put a stop to all sickness and death will be no more (REV 21;3.4) Jehovah also shows His love for us through the ransom sacrifice"
"Houston was larger than life. Losing him is hard. And yet all of the SMW choir and theatre kids and the Christian Youth Theater kids past, present and future now have a very powerful Angel to call upon before each performance, or audition, or every time they take the stage - they can think of Houston and gain strength. All our love to the St. John family and friends. God's speed Houston!"
"Uncle David, Theresa, Austin and Crystal - My heart is broken for you and our family. But I know you find comfort and rejoice knowing that Houston is with Jesus. You have been in my thoughts and prayers constantly over the past days and I will continue to lift you up in prayer. I wish I could be with you this weekend. We love you. Kevin, Tracie, Braxton and Jesse"
"Houston has become one of my best friends just this year. It's so amazing what just a few months can do. The last thing he said to me was thank you. But in the end, I should be the one saying thank you. Thank you Houston for your kindness every single day and for being an amazing friend. Love you so much dear. All of my prayers go to David, Theresa, and Austin, and other family/friends."
"Tuesday the CYT shirt my daughter wore read on the back: "To love another person is to see the face of God" Houston radiated love to every one he met. So kind, thoughtful and considerate: "How are you?", "Here, let me carry that for you". Thank you David, Theresa and Austin for sharing your amazing gift from God with us all. We will always remember Houston St. John."
"I didn't know Houston well, but I was lucky enough to get to see him perform for Spotlight Spectacular and SM West theater. He was incredibly talented and so much fun to watch. On top of that, he was an amazing person who touched the lives of so many in SMW Choir, theater, and so many other places. All my prayers to the St. John family."
""Thank you Houston for sharing your love for the Lord in your praise & worship! I was blessed to watch you lead praise & worship at the Fellowship Of Excitement Church in Lenexa last fall & winter while I was working in Kansas. Your mom and dad have so much to be proud of in the wonderful testimony you leave behind. Enjoy your time with God - we'll all join you when our time has come...""
"We will always have a loving memory of Houston as a wonderful friend of Michael from kindergarten through 6th grade. Houston was a gift to all, talented, smart, and a true witness of Christian life. Michael always knew Houston was someone he could share his faith with and we will always be grateful for their friendship. May God's love and comfort guide you through this difficult time."
"Houston brought great joy to us through his amazing talent for performing. The first time I saw him perform was as Elvis at Sunflower. He delighted us in the Music Man at Westridge, with his Thriller dance and as Pharaoh in Joseph at CYT. We will miss his bright smile and enthusiasm, but his beautiful influence on those around him will live on. Peace and love to the St. John family."
"Excellent video tribute to Houston
"There are so many wonderful tribute's listed from people who thought the world of you Houston. I find comfort in the words of the song from "Tarzan" the movie written by Phil Collins...Cause you'll be in my heart, yes you'll be in my heart, from this day on, now and forevermore..Just look over your shoulder; I'll be there always. The Big Director above has selected you. Be proud!"
"Houston was always so positive and happy about everything. No matter what my mood was, he never failed at making me laugh until my sides hurt. He was always so passionate in whatever he was talking about. He inspired me to be a better person. I truly believed he was going to be famous. I honestly consider him one of the most influential people in my life. Love and miss you Houston."
"Houston was a beautiful light to everyone around him. He made everyone around him feel like his best friend, and he was an amazing mentor for his younger cast members who completely adored him! He touched so many lives! Lindsay and Lauren were honored to share the stage with him. Our hearts and prayers are with you!"
"Loved watching Houston dance!! As a dance teacher I always enjoyed the interaction Houston had with his audiences. He was a bright and shining star. Now we'll look to the heavens to see his star!! Love to the St. John family from the Keltners!!!!!"
"Houston, I already miss you so much. Playing football with you was an honor. It really was. I watched you perform a few of your plays, You were absolutely flawless, You would have been the best actor ever. Anything and everything you would have done would have been incredible, The lord must have needed you for him to take you so suddenly. I Can not express how much you will be missed."
"Houston was one of the most beautiful souls I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Every bone in his body was made of love and passion- two things he shared with everyone he encountered. There's no doubt in my mind he changed the lives of those close to him. Thank you for everything you've done, honey. I'm proud to call you one of my closest friends. I love you and I'll never forget you."
"I've sat down to write this 100 times, it doesn't seem real to me that he's gone. Houston was truly one in a million. His voice was flawless, but his genuine compassion and care for others set him apart. He was there for me during some really rough patches, and he made an impact on me that I'll never forget. Deepest condolences to the entire St John family. Love, Miriam from MTYP"
"I did not know Houston personally and I was never fortunate enough to see him perform on stage. What I knew of Houston I learned through his father Pastor David St John and David shined like diamonds and grinned ear to ear when he spoke of him and all of his accomplishments. My deepest sympathy goes out tonight to the family and friends of this extraordinary young man."
"From the early years at Sunflower Elementary to SMWest I never saw Houston without a huge smile on his face and a skip in his step. My favorite memory of him is his Elvis performance in 6th grade. I knew then he was going to do great things and he did. May God's love provide your family and Houston's friends comfort.
Scott, Kathy, Tanner and Delaney Griffin"
"The voice may be silenced, and the body still... But his light will live on in the smiles of the lives he touched...In the smiles of the young ones to whom he showed kindness... of the adults who knew his respect... of his friends who shared the love, drama, and joy. The show goes on...and he is remembered in the smiles that still spread when they remember. Like ripples in a pond."
"Houston shared a wonderful gift with countless individuals in a very short time. We consider ourselves blessed to have been part of his CYT family. Our hearts and prayers are with you."
"David and Theresa, Houston was an amazing and talented young man and we feel blessed to have known him. He was beautiful inside and out. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Dick and Donna Marx (Maggie's Grandparents)."
"Houston, you were amazing! You always lit the choir room up with your smile when you walked in. I remember the first time I ever talked to you, you were so nice to me,to everyone. You will be forever missed. Choir will never be the same without you. Prayers go out to your family!"
""You were truly an amazing human being and you always had a smile on your face. Your energy on stage was just as constant as you were kind. There won't be a day that I won't miss you. Houston St. John, you were next big thing.""
"What a beautiful example Houston was to all of us!! His zest for life in his faith, music, family and friends was incredible! He wore happiness on his sleeve and loved to share it with everybody!! We were blessed to have had him in our lives! Prayers to the family,
Dave, Lori, Mitch, and Jack Arndt"
"I know you will be with me right on the stage. I love you so much and I can't even begin to describe the happiness I have to know that I was part of your life. Thank you so much for being a great friend and sharing your passion with me. Love you so much and I can't wait to see you again. Sing with the angels because you are a bright and shining one. See you later hon. Lots of love"
"Your Story Is Heartbreaking!! I Didn't Know U Very Well But You Were Very Nice And You Had An Amazing Voice And Your Acting Was Always Great!! RIP Houston <3 Heaven Has Gained An Angel, Lost But Never Forgotten"
"I am so blessed to have called Houston one of my close friends. He has helped me through so much and I could never have thanked him enough. I can only aspire to be as kind and compassionate as Houston. He has changed my life and I will always carry a part of him in my heart. Love you, Houston."
"I remember last New Years, we were in footloose together and he spent the night at our house, we celebrated that evening and in the morning, my dad found Houston with only his sweatshirt as a blanket in our freezing basement. He had loaned his blanket to one of the other boys. Such a simple act of kindness, but it just shows how incredible of a person he really was."
"You were one of the kindest people I've ever met. You had a smile that it up a room and you always made me laugh. You became one of my dearest friend and now idk who I will go to with my boy problems. I love you so much. You had so much talent and I bet you're showing it off to Elvis and Michael Jackson right now. I love you and I'll see you later"
"Houston is one of the most talented people I have ever met but he was still so humble and made everyone feel special. Houston didn't care who you were he just accepted everyone for who they we're. I am going to miss when he would poke me and I would freakout and be like HOUSTON and he would be like what that wasn't me but I was like that was you Houston and Houston would just smile."
"I've never met someone with such charisma. Houston had the most beautiful light up the room smile with a larger than life personality. He had the gift of making people in the audience love what he was doing as much as he so obviously did. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to sing with such an amazing person. I'll miss you Houston, keep shining."
"My son Mark never met you, but he has been on stage with numerous friends you have been on stage with! I guess God needed another Angel!
Peace and comfort to all left behind for now!
"What I'll always remember about Houston was his kindness. Yes, he was extremely talented and an amazing performer but his kindness could not be faked. He was nice to everyone- even those who might be the other kids might leave out. Houston made everyone feel as if they were important. What a gift he gave and what a loss the world now suffers without Houston."
"Thank you David and Teresa for sharing your son with us. He was a true blessing to everyone he performed for and with. It was always amazing to see him light up the stage. May you find comfort knowing that he is in a better place. A place that God has promised us He has prepared for us. We are all grieving with you as we try to make sense out of this. God be with your family."
"I'll miss you everyday Houston. You were such an inspiration. I am so blessed to have been able to be your friend and experience the light and passion that you brought into this world. Having you as my dance partner was something I always cherished and still do. Thank you for everything Houston. Your friends and family are in my prayers. Keep on dancing and singing up there for all of us."
"I admired Houston St.John, he had a passion for love and life, and a drive that could take him wherever he desired to be. I pushed myself further in choir because of this man. Each day his voice resonated loud and proud, and seemed to shake each persons spirit personally. Let love bring everyone close and our tears mark his place here. Each word sung by him rings still...and will forever."
"From the second you walk in the doors of CYT you become family to everyone there. I was never super close with Houston, but he had such an infectious smile, and he performed at the level of a broadway actor. My heart hurts because he is gone, and my prayers are with his family. But I am so lucky that such an incredible person will and always will be part of my CYT family."
"I will always remember Houston as a kind, happy boy with a zest for life. I never appreciated his true talent until I saw his Elvis impersonation in the 6th grade. His performances at Westridge and SMW never disappointed and always gave me chills. We often said "one day that kid's gonna be on Broadway" and will go see him there. We will always keep him in a special place in our hearts."
"I am so sorry for your loss. I remember back to Sunflower Elementary School where I directed the JCPRD After School Program and had the priviledge of knowing Austin and Houston at a very young age. What amazing young men! My heart aches for you. I will continue to pray for you and I know God is looking over you at this time."
"Houston was an awesome kid and an amazing performer. An unforgettable, beautiful person."
"Houston was one of my favorite people in the world. I remember Maggie, him and i calling ourselves a tricycle at camp because I was their third wheel. He ALWAYS knew what to say, or what not to say, and he was one of the wisest, sweetest, funniest, most purely talented people I've ever known in my whole life. I can't imagine earth without him, but he's watching over us with Jesus now."
"Houston had so many talents, always a joy to watch no matter which event he was participating in. You could always count on his bubbly/contagious personality and smile coming through no matter where he was – on stage, after a show or on trips. He is on a bigger brighter stage now and will truly be missed! All of our love and sympathy are with Theresa, David, Austin, Crystal and family."
"Houston was such a talented singer and dancer. He displayed a confidence that was inspiring in someone so young. He was always caring and thoughtful young man, and was beloved by everyone, because he was genuine. Our thoughts and prayers to his family, Theresa, David and Austin. We are so sorry for your loss."
"Everyone knows Houston; he's that kind of personality. This morning my seventh grader, who has never even met him, said "I saw Houston in his underwear." She was talking about his performance in the spring Spotlighters show. His Professor Harold Hill could give even Robert Preston a run for his money. Thoughts and peace to his family."
"Houston was a wonderfull member of our first grade classroom community. Even at that tender young age, he demonstrated compassion and respect for all others. I often recall fondly the time my husband and I went to see Houston and Austin perform at their church. Houston brought so much joy,love, and humor to the audience. Houston has always had a special place in my heart."
"My son, Taylor went to Sunflower with Houston. He was shocked by the news and wanted to send his condolences to the family. As was I, Taylor really impressed with Houston's talents. Great kid. He'll be missed."
"Houston was such an inspiration to so many with his many talents and commitment to God. The audience always lit up when he took the stage to perform a number or show us his incredible talent of dance. The St. John family brings joy to the lives of all of us. We will miss you Houston. Thoughts and prayers to David, Theresa, and Austin. You are loved."
"Houston and his beautiful smile, voice, energy, and zeal for life will be missed so dearly by all that knew him. He was a brightly shining star taken much to early. Feeling blessed to have known him.
We grieve with your Family, sending our Love and Deepest Condolences, Phil, Deb, Alexander, & Rebecca Martin"
"Houston was one of the most talented people I know. He was very sweet to me, and had a wonderful singing voice. I really looked up to him, and loved being in shows with him. We both loved Michael Jackson, and his turkey leg shirt made me laugh. Farewell to a wonderful, talented, amazing guy."
"Houston was one of the brightest stars in the sky. We loved his passion and we will have memories of Houston and Carter together on the football field, celebrating the game they loved. It was a pleasure to have seen Houston begin his amazing career in theatre as well. All of our love, sympathy, prayers and heartfelt condolences to David, Theresa, Austin and Family."
"Amazing, encouraging, funny, smiling and most importantly is a Believer!. His love for all he did was so apparent. David and Theresa I know your proud of your son! You raised him knowing The Lord! I have been blessed to know him!"
"I feel blessed that our family was able to witness Houston's many talents...football, chorale and theater! Though #57 was a beast on the football field we were proud to watch him purse his theater dream. Houston was a huge inspiration to many, and my thoughts and prayers are with David, Theresa and your entire family during this tragic time."
"Houston was a joy to watch in all he did. God blessed him with so many talents and it was our privilege to be a part of his life. He always had a smile. My last conversation with him was a couple of weeks ago and he told me he was going to play football next year to finish his Sr year. We will miss you!!! All my thoughts and prayers to David, Theresa and Austin. Know you all are loved!."
"Houston brought joy to everyone who ever watched him on stage. But more importantly, he brought joy to the lives of those of us who were blessed to know him. His loss leaves a gap in all our lives that can never be filled. All my love to his beautiful family, and prayers for peace and comfort in this unimaginable pain."
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