Champion Travis Traylor

Staff Writer
The Star

Champion Travis Traylor, 39, died on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Champion was born on June 19, 1981, raised in Wewahitchka, and was a resident of Melbourne, Florida. Champ graduated from Wewahitchka High School in 1999. He was a member of the National Honor Society and loved his time with friends playing football and baseball. After graduation, Champ attended college, joined the Army Reserves, and was called to active duty. A proud U.S. Army Veteran, Champ served in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Following his combat service, Champ struggled with PTSD and addiction, but never stopped helping others and had a renewed sense of hope when his cousin, Crystal Gaskin Dziadosz, helped him enter Heroes’ Mile, a private Veteran Recovery and Transition Center. After Heroes’ Mile, Champ transferred to JourneyPure Melbourne where his beloved counselor, Adrian Marquez, encouraged him and inspired him to begin training to become a substance abuse counselor. During the past year, Champ trained for and completed a marathon (proudly wearing his Trump 2020 socks and carrying the American flag). Champ loved his country, his family, the Florida Gators, and his hometown.

Champ is survived by his mother Jan Gaskin Traylor, his father Billy Traylor, his brother-in-law Eli Barfield, his niece Skylar Barfield, nephew Brady Barfield, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends who loved him.

Champ was preceded in death by his sister, Jana Traylor Barfield, grandparents David and Tweeta Gaskin, A.B. and Lois Traylor, and his uncle Michael Traylor.

Active pallbearers are Will Sumner, Ed Sumner, Rocky Traylor, Austin Chumney, Eli Barfield, Michael Morgan, Lee Linton, and Lawrence Bowen.

Honorary pallbearers are his teammates, classmates, and friends from Wewahitchka High School.

Services were held Wednesday, August 5, 2020 in the open area between Jan and Betty Rich’s house. A private interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family is honoring Champion and Jana’s memory by establishing a local mental health and substance abuse assistance fund. Donations may be made at Centennial Bank.

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