Cheerleading coach gives insight to teen’s life
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Kloee Toliver will be remembered by the people who knew her as more than the visibly beautiful, petite cheerleader from Beggs.
“Obviously when people initially met her they noticed that she was beautiful,” Kloee’s former tumbling and cheerleading coach Kaylee Vaughn said. “But once you got to know her, her heart was just in such a good place at all times.”
She said Kloee had a special connection with children. She volunteered to one-on-one coach a little girl with special needs each year during the high school cheerleading clinics and formed an incredible bond.
Vaughn’s daughter had developed a relationship with Kloee over the years. She said out of all the cheerleaders, Kloee stood out.
“She got a baby doll with long dark hair, she started calling the doll Kloee,” she said.
Kloee’s Facebook page, now memorialized, reflects Vaughn’s opinion.
Pictures of her holding and adoring babies and children are posted throughout the profile.
Her obituary states her love of children inspired her to want to become an OB-GYN one day. She was a nursing student at the local vocational school many county high school students attend.
“She just wanted good for other people which was kind of refreshing to see when you work with high school kids,” Vaughn said.
Buses head east at 3:30 p.m. on a Wednesday coming back from Thanksgiving break. As they pass, drivers headed west can see the green road sign ‘Beggs Schools’ pointing north just before the turn to take toward the schools.
Across the street from the sign is the Beggs Cemetery. The ground has been stripped away towards the exit and a mound of muddy dirt and grass lay there, like someone simply pushed it aside to make room.
Sitting in the middle of the bald earth, at first looks like maybe a spot was missed or left behind, but upon further inspection it’s actually a pile of brown, dried up plants.
They are toppled over and beginning to sprawl out.
Two plaques, with the smiling pictures of Kloee and her brother Kayson barely poking out of the withered foliage, mark the graves.
It has been close to a month since the siblings were laid next to each other.
Though the graves lay neglected, the small community of Beggs was rocked so hard the waves traveled throughout Okmulgee County and rippled into the entire nation.
‘Prayers for Beggs’ flashed on the Okmulgee Public Schools’ marquee sign as motorists drove past on Highway 75 during the first week of November. Its yellow background with the black ribbon symbolized the mourning of a tragedy.
Those passing through the area might have wondered at first about what happened in Beggs, if they even knew where the 3A class town is located, just north of Okmulgee.
But the ones living in the communities within Okmulgee County felt the impact of the morning of Nov. 1.
That morning Amy Hall opened fire in her home, shooting her three children.
Kayson was the first victim. The eldest and only son of the siblings, the 18-year-old senior was a standout player for the Beggs Demons football team with goals to succeed in the sport past his high school days.
His mother entered his room while he and a friend who was staying over slept, and shot him in the head. He was pronounced dead on-scene.
The second child shot was 16-year-old Kloee, the oldest daughter. She too was shot in the head but did not die in the home like her brother. She would lie in the hospital for five days before she passed away.
The only surviving sibling, Kayson and Kloee’s 14-year-old sister, Nikole was shot and, at least physically, has recovered from her injuries.
Many people had questions. Why or how a mother could do such a thing? Those outraged called her a monster among other unflattering words on social media.
County Sheriff Eddy Rice warned the public about the impact of those words during a press release the day of the incident.
“We ask please be respectful, social media is very hurtful to family, friends and neighbors,” Rice said.
The small community’s residents and those in the surrounding areas tried to make sense of it by coming together to support one another, to hold each other and to pray for understanding and forgiveness.
The community wanted the rest of the world to remember the lives that were taken and changed forever.
That Friday after the shooting multiple football games took a moment of silence for the victims, shirts were made to honor Kayson and the Beggs football team would defeat Sperry 35-21.
Vaughn knew Kloee as a team player; she was very driven and would do whatever her squad needed her to do, whether asked to be a base or flier.
On Nov. 6, as Kloee lay in the hospital, a decision was made to remove her from life support once it was discovered she would never recover and was pronounced brain dead.
Though she passed away, Kloee’s spirit of giving remained.
She was an organ donor, and her organs will live on in the lives of eight people that received her gift.
“We used to tease her and tell her ‘you’re gonna do something big, people are going to know you or remember you,’ ” Vaughn said.
“That’s exactly what happened. She’s going to be remembered as someone who saved those lives. It’s reassuring to those that loved her that she was able to pass that on to other people.”