Eric Fadeley was buried Tuesday in Rancho Palos Verdes by family and friends who thought he had everything. Instead, his suicide note revealed a boy who felt stressed and disliked.
The 15-year-old who helped pitch his team to a third-place finish at the Senior Little League World Series was buried with a baseball signed by teammates.
Classmates from Torrance High, cheerleaders and teammates wept and hugged each other among mourners that overflowed the 300-seat Green Hills Mortuary Chapel.
His father, Fred Fadeley, addressed the question on everyone's mind. "Through this whole thing, the main question to ask is 'Why?' Nobody will ever know for sure," Fadeley said. "But I do know and will tell you that if he knew, really knew, what he was about to do, he would have changed it."
Eric's family said he was highly disciplined and dedicated, a top baseball player on both his Little League and high school teams and a 3.8-average student who tutored others in math.
The family never pushed Eric to excel, his brother, Dean, said.
"He didn't need any pushing, he was self-motivated. That's something for parents to watch for--kids putting too much stress on themselves," he added.
Last month, Eric's team was the top team from the United States in the Senior Little League World Series, finishing behind behind Taiwan and the Dominican Republic.
Eric shot himself last Thursday with a family handgun. His father found him dead in his bedroom. The night before, he and his Central Torrance Senior Little League team were honored by the Angels.
Police said the high school sophomore left a note in which he said he loved his family but felt ugly and bad and the intense burden of making the grade.