Codie Lingle wasn’t the type of person who went out of his way to bring attention to himself. In fact, some people might even say he was on the quiet or shy side, but those closest to Codie saw the 16-year-old Glenwood Community High School junior in a different light.
“The funny thing about Codie was that when people met him, they thought he was just so quiet and reserved. At home, he was the craziest kid ever. He was a comedian. He was just silly at times,” Codie’s step-mother Michelle Lingle said. “I don’t think he let on to people very much, but he really had a huge heart.”
That huge heart is what Codie’s family and friends are remembering as they mourn his sudden and unexpected death Thursday, July 18.
Dale Lingle thought his son was simply sleeping in late again when he found him lying in bed in the middle of the afternoon. During the summer months, Codie often slept in after staying up to the early-morning hours playing computer and video games with his brother Logan.
“It wasn’t out of the norm for Dale to come home and find him still sleeping,” Michelle said. “That was kind of a running joke, Dale would come home and say, ‘Geez, are you still sleeping?’ This time, Codie went to bed and just didn’t wake up.”
The cause of Codie’s death hasn’t been determined. Glenwood Police Chief Eric Johansen said foul play isn’t suspected, but the department’s investigation into the unattended death will remain open until complete autopsy findings, including a toxicology report, are released. It could be several days or weeks before the findings are finalized.
“That’s the part that’s toughest on the family,” Michelle said. “We’re all struggling with the why and what?”
For a long time, Codie had aspirations of becoming a U.S. Marine, but just in the last year, decided he wanted to become an Army Ranger instead, thanks in large part to a family friend who also happens to be a ranger.
“Our family friend went through a lot of trouble and actually got Codie the (ranger’s) brown beret and pin,” Michelle said. “He had it over-nighted to us and Codie’s got it on him now.”
Michelle said Codie was an intelligent and creative kid, who enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together.
“He was very bright and so creative,” she said. “He would take things apart, like a DVD player. I’d practically have a heart attack over it, but then, he’d put it back together and you’d have that Frankenstein DVD player he created.”
Codie also enjoyed outdoor activities, most notably fishing and camping, and was looking forward to the day when he would get his own motorcycle to ride. He loved the family’s two dogs and enjoyed his part-time job at Pizza Hut.
“He really liked all the people he worked with,” Michelle said. “Of course, he always had his paycheck already spent before he got it.”
Codie was close with his older brothers, Logan and Chris, and protective of his little sister, Zoe.
“He was the annoying brother that I argued with all the time, but we had our moments when we connected,” Zoe Lingle said. “He asked me to walk him down to the gas station almost every day and we always watched movies and played video games together.”
Zoe was quick to point out that her “annoying brother” also happened to be a saxophone player in the GCHS Marching Band and a talented artist who loved to draw.
“He did a lot of his talking through artwork and writing,” she said.
Codie’s eighth-grade math teacher, Colleen Confer, remembers him as a “quiet, smart, polite and kind” boy.
“He was very kind and very likeable,” she said.
The Lingles have lived in Glenwood for six years. Michelle said the family is overwhelmed by the support they’re receiving from the community.
“The outpouring of the community here has been just unbelievable,” she said. “People have just been so loving and supportive.”
Funeral services for Codie Lingle took place Tuesday at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Glenwood. A complete obituary is published on page 2A.