Tyler Owen Dannaway
Published: January 18, 2018
Tyler Owen Dannaway passed in the arms of his parents on January 16, 2018. Although he was only with us for nine years, the effect he had on his family, friends, and everyone he met was profound. He was diagnosed with autism and apraxia before his second birthday, and his work ethic to overcome the obstacles in his life is a model for everyone. He never complained about the extra work, going to therapy four times a week, or communicating through sign language, an assistive communication device, or the words that he could actually say. He worked hard and did it all with a smile that lit up a room and would flash his big, blue eyes at everyone around him.
As an advocate for autism and apraxia, Tyler took a front and center role in their awareness campaigns and frequently appeared on the local news and in magazines. He was an ambassador for Easter Seals of Arkansas and his story was featured in the documentary "Haven's Road" that helped raise thousands of dollars for Easter Seals. He and his family are eternally grateful to the teachers, therapists, and staff at Easter Seals for everything they did during his time there.
After graduating from Easter Seals, he moved onto Fulbright Elementary and started the next chapter of his life. While his tenure there was short-lived, his impact was not. His gentle nature and even keel were a perfect match for introducing his classmates to autism and the school would talk about his friends who would line up to play with him at recess. Fulbright Elementary was a home away from home for Tyler and the teachers, staff, and his friends helped make him the remarkable little boy that he'll always be.
He is and remains the driving force behind Autism Connections and the Tyler Dannaway Fund which seek to help parents and families affected by autism. He might be gone but his impact and legacy will live on through the hearts and minds of his family, friends, and anyone he met for more than five minutes.
Tyler is survived by his parents, Steve and Teresa Dannaway of Little Rock, his grandparents Jan and Sandra Dannaway of Little Rock and David and Rosemary Kraft of North Little Rock, aunts and uncles Doug and Carrie Dannaway of Edmond, Okla.; Karen Kraft of Chicago, Ill.; Kenny and Katie Kraft of Arlington, Va.; Matt Kraft of Seattle, Wash.; and Scott Brook of Little Rock, his cousins Shannon and Kaylin Dannaway of Edmond, Okla.; and Collier, Gavin, and Nora Kraft of Arlington, Va., his best friends Luke Molsbee and Raylee Weglewski of Little Rock and his trusty sidekick Ziggy.
A Mass of Christian burial will be 10 a.m. Saturday, January 20, 2018 at Christ the King Catholic church with Monsignor Earnest Hardesty as celebrant. Burial will follow at Forest Hills Memorial Park. A visitation will begin at 5 p.m. followed by a Rosary at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 19, 2018 at Christ the King Catholic Church.
Pallbearers will be Douglas C. Dannaway, W. Scott Brook, Kenneth D. Kraft, Matthew J. Kraft, Justin A. Tackett and Nathan D. Molsbee. Honorary pallbearers will be the Second Grade Class at Fullbright Elementary School.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Tyler Dannaway Fund at #4 Fenchley Court, Little Rock, Ark. 72212. To sign the online guest book, please visit www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/chenal.
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