Hailey Milstead, born Rebekah Lauren Milstead, passed away unexpectedly December 1, 2022 just a week shy of their 20th birthday. Our family and community are devastated by this loss. Hailey was born in Austin, Texas on December 9th, 2002 to parents Sula and Steven Milstead. Their preferred pronouns were They/Them.
Hailey attended Doss and Gullett Elementary Schools, Murchison, K-12, Cedars International and Premier High School for Middle and High School. They were weeks shy of finishing up their GED at James Madison High School and planned on attending a cosmetology school to further their passion in SFX makeup.
In Hailey’s early childhood they liked to say their favorite color was colorful in polka-dot form. They would spend hours picking the perfect rock or bug. Their love for all things tiny and miniature followed them through to adulthood. Hailey’s youth sport of choice was competitive cheerleading and accomplished handstands in 11 states within a 2 year timeframe.
Hailey thrived in spaces where they could be living their interests, values and passions. They had boundless energy and was unapologetic in living life on their terms. They were active in OutYouth and a fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and mental health awareness.
It was through OutYouth that Hailey found Maven Youth, and ChickTech. Here, they worked on their leadership skills, participated in youth panels and discovered a love for public speaking. They were wicked smart at picking up all things technological and loved the combination of computer-programing, gaming, LGBTQ+ rights, and youth empowerment.
Hailey participated in the Urban Roots internship program that fed their love of nature, farming, healthy eating, and social justice. They went on to work farmers market booths for Engel Farm and a local pecan orchard. They participated in farmers markets in multiple areas of Austin.
Hailey could frequently be seen out riding their skateboard, being out in nature, and enjoying a campfire. They would fill their time by hanging out online chatting with friends, making Tik Tok videos, quietly working on mixed-media art projects, perfecting a new song on ukulele, and creating amazing cosplay characters with SFX makeup. They would often reach out to their sister to share random amusements, how they’re doing, and share the delightfully unique-and-dark sense of humor that has helped the two of them get through life’s toughest moments.
Their favorite time of day was sunset. They would spend many evenings capturing the beauty of the colorful sky through photos and be present with the transition of day to night, welcoming the moon.
Hailey is preceded in death by their biological father, Steven; brother, Martin; and grandmother, Betty.
Hailey is survived by their mother, Sula; step-dad, Chris; sister, Rae, brother, Andy; grandmother, Sula Frost; extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins; boyfriend, Joseph and many dear and devoted friends.
A memorial service will be held at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, 4700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756, on December 14, 2022 at 4:00 pm.
Friends and church members are invited to bring finger foods to share at the reception to celebrate Hailey following the service. You may drop them off in the kitchen when you arrive.
In lieu of flowers for the service, please make a donation in the name of Hailey (Rebekah) Milstead to one of the following organizations: OutYouth, Maven Youth, or Urban Roots.
A wake will be held the evening before on December 13, 2022 from 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at 3208 Red River St, Austin, TX 78705.
A GoFundMe has been setup to assist the family during this time: