WASECA — Alexus (Lexi) Tiegs, 15, of Waseca is described as a vibrant, smart, beautiful, kind girl.
She died Oct. 23 from injuries sustained in a car accident.
Alexus grew up in Waseca surrounded by friends and family. In school she was actively involved in her many passions along with activities and jobs outside of school.
“She was a good kid with a golden heart,” Jackie Tiegs, Alexus’ mom said. “She’s going to be missed by a lot of people, she touched a lot of people and I’ve seen that this last couple weeks. The outpouring from the community and the school and her friends, she’s going to be missed, she’s a good kid who's going to be missed.”
Her kindness was seen through the two mission trips she took with her church St. Paul Lutheran in Waseca. She went to Florida and to Pennsylvania to help the less fortunate. Locally Alexus was known to stand up for other people and to speak out if something wasn’t right.
"The biggest hero, nobody realized," Waseca High School Assistant Principal Jason Miller said.
Before moving to the high school for ninth grade Alexus was a student at TEAM Academy in Waseca.
In school Alexus was ranked 20 of 142 students with a GPA of 3.9. She loved school and was planning for her future of being the first in her family to attend college. Her mom shared that she was thinking of going into the psychology field last time they talked.
School counselor Christine Meeks shared that students who came into talk about Alexus were sad and crying, laughing and talking about hilarious stories they had shared with her.
“She had a great sense of humor,” Meeks said.
She always made sure to attend as many sporting events cheering in the stands Waseca High School principal Jeanne Swanson called her the fan in the stands because she always saw her. Alexus spent a lot of time with her friends as well.
“She had friends everywhere and all kinds of friends from different groups, different backgrounds,” Meeks said. “It was really cool to see how many people came out to support the family afterwards, too.”
When she wasn’t in class Alexus was singing in the show choir along with being the seventh grade softball manager keeping stats for the game. She was also a band member from fifth grade through ninth grade playing the flute and had recently joined the math team.
“I really think she loved being part of the choir. I think that was her passion,” Swanson said.
Time with her mom
Alexus enjoyed singing on the stage and in the car with her mom.
“She was kind of my third leg,” Jackie said. “We never went anywhere without each other.”
She went on to say that as soon as Alexus got in the car she had the radio changed to her favorite station and taking snapchats of them.
Alexus and her mom did a lot of things together and one of the traditions that they participated in was the Trunk-or-Treat event held at Faith United Methodist Church in Waseca.
They did this for about six years and each year they would work hard to pick a different theme, sure to never repeat. To prepare for this event they would start planning around August to pick the theme, prepare costumes and the 600 goodie bags needed to hand out at the event.
“Instead of going out trick-or-treating herself she helped me do trick-or-treating at the church,” Jackie said.”...It didn't bother her not to go out with her friends trick-or-treating. She was helping the other kids.”
They duo also enjoyed shopping together, taking girls trips, family trips and attending the fair together.
At the fair Alexus and her mom would walk around seeing people just hanging out together. Jackie said that Alexus was kind of her sidekick for the rodeo because it was just the two of them there.
“She always wanted to be going somewhere,” Jackie said. “She never wanted to just be sitting around and do nothing and relax. She wanted to go to Walmart or go to Dairy Queen or go somewhere, do something, just wander around, hang out at the mall…”
Alexus also liked spending time with her two sisters, Haley Dawson and Sammi Jo Tiegs, and her dad Dale Tiegs.
Time with her sisters, dad
“They just hung around together and her and her sisters went shopping a lot,” Jackie said. “I think they liked to hang out and she always had fun whatever they were doing they were having fun doing it.”
Alexus also loved spending time at the gun range with her dad and going to gun shows. Her mom shared that she always looked forward to going to the big gun show in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with her dad each year.
Along with school, activities and family and friend time Alexus had three jobs.
At 14 she started working at the Holiday Inn in Owatonna, Minnesota at the 43rd Pub and Grill and when that closed temporarily she worked at the Waseca water park supervising kids. She had recently started working at the Pizza Ranch in Waseca.
“She was a go-getter and she liked to save her money because she had dreams of getting a new car and a new fancy phone,” Jackie said. “And she was working and putting all her money in the bank and trying to get what she wanted to get.”
Her impact on the community continued after the accident. Jackie said she was floored when the school called to offer to host the funeral services at the school in the Performing Arts Center.
“Her last dance on stage,” Jackie said of having the services in the PAC.
Over 600 people attended the services for Alexus.
In the weeks following the accident, Jackie and the families received an outpouring of support from friends, family and the community. They wanted to thank everyone who helped and supported Alexus’ family.