Sister of Auburn’s Philip Lutzenkirchen pens touching tribute to late brother

Former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen died at age 23 Sunday.  

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former Auburn University tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen was killed in an auto accident Sunday. The death stunned the entire War Eagle community.

His sister, Abby, a soccer player at Alabama, wrote a letter for Al.com trying to make some sense of his death to friends and fans.

Here are some excerpts:

Philip was my hero: my knight in shining armor. He was iron man to me, and I made sure that everyone around me knew that I worshiped the ground that he walked on. What made our bond stronger within the past few years is the decision of me to play soccer at Alabama while he was still playing at Auburn. He never lets me forget that I chose to be a "Bammer" but made sure that he was ALWAYS my No. 1 fan, whether he was at my game or not.

Philip was like the typical over-protective big brother, scaring every (and any) boy that I even attempted to bring around my family. But, what Philip never knew was that I always looked for someone with the same qualities as him, and I will always continue to do that throughout the next stage in my life.

TRAGIC SPORTS DEATHS

She also addressed what made Philip Lutzenkirchen so important to practically everyone he touched.

Philip was larger than life and seeing how this community had reached out to us in his passing has just reassured my family that Philip was a true and genuine man. He loved his friends like family, and they have become family to us. We hope that this family bond we have created with you all will never go away. I am blessed to know that even though my big brother is gone, I still have big brothers all around me through his friends.

Abby closed the piece simply writing:

War Eagle. Forever 43. Forever my big brother.

Abby Lutzenkirchen