Funeral for Garces grad: Dhanens was 'witty' and 'talented'

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Grieving mixed with celebration of life as friends and family laid an 18-year-old Garces Memorial High School graduate to rest.

Funeral services were held Friday for Philip Dhanens, who died after hours of drinking over Labor Day weekend at a California State University, Fresno fraternity.

The college freshman was a pledge at Theta Chi fraternity, which has since been suspended by the university. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer told Eyewitness News at the time that his investigators believe about 14 pledges were drinking late Friday and into early Saturday morning at the frat house.

Dhanens' mother said her son suffered brain damage from excessive drinking. Police are trying to determine if hazing was involved.

Friday was a time for people to celebrate Dhanens' life.

"Philip was witty. Philip was talented. Philip always was able to break a tense moment by a joke or a smile," Garces music teacher Scott Smith said. "You know his heart was in the right place, and people gathered around him. And he should've been and would've been a great leader."