Kyle Walker always wanted to be taller than his dad.
As he grew, he measured his height next to his father, Bronley Walker, year after year until he leveled out at 6 feet 6 inches - a solid four inches taller than his dad.
On Saturday, Kyle Walker, 21, was killed in a one vehicle accident when his car struck a tree along the 1100 block of Woodland Road in Spring Garden Township.
"I've always told him he wasn't just bigger than me, he was smarter than me," said Bronley Walker, 68. "And I told him that I hope I live long enough to see what happens to him."
"He was a riot," Bronley Walker said. "He had a quick wit and a dry sense of humor, he was very funny and very entertaining."
A gifted writer, Kyle was majoring in journalism and political science at Millersville University. He was a contributing writer for Fly Magazine and The Snapper, Millersville's student newspaper.
"He took a lot of risks with his writing, but always stayed true to himself," said Laura Maginley, associate news editor of The Snapper. "His writing was consistent and genuine."
Maginley recalled Kyle speaking out on issues at town hall meetings on campus organized by the student senate.
He was a libertarian and a big Ron Paul supporter, his dad said.
"He fought for the underprivileged," said Bronley Walker. "He was anti-government, so I told him to do something about it."
He added political science to his major because he was not satisfied with the way things were and wanted to change the government system and the world, his dad said.
After graduating from York Suburban in 2010, Kyle attended Five Towns College of Music before changing his mind about finding a profession in the music industry.
Music was a huge part of Kyle's life, and he loved going to concerts with friends.
The youngest of six children, Kyle was a free spirit who "marched to the beat of a different drummer," his dad said.
He would wear Chuck Taylors and shorts all winter.
"He was different, but not a bad different," said Bronley Walker. "A really good different."
"Growing up he had his ups and downs, and he had come together significantly in the last year after an extremely bad summer," Bronley Walker said.
Kyle's parents, Bronley and Lori Walker, were still on a holiday vacation when the accident occurred on Saturday.
It was the first time they had gone on the annual cruise without taking all of their children along, said Bronley Walker.
When Kyle dropped his parents off at the airport, he gave his dad an essay he had written for The Snapper.
The published essay was about his experience getting arrested for driving under the influence and what it taught him.
Bronley Walker had encouraged his son to write about it, the way that teachers have their students write about their summer vacation, he said.
He forgot about it and didn't know that Kyle had followed through until he handed him the published copy at the airport as they unknowingly said their last goodbyes.
"Things had been great, and he wasn't drinking and driving anymore," said Bronley Walker.
"This is very sad for all of us that knew him," he said. "He was my boy."
- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org