Friends honor fallen Warner Pacific sophomore - KPTV - FOX 12

Friends honor fallen Warner Pacific sophomore

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

People who knew Royce Hayson say he was loved and loved other people, adding that he knew his purpose in life and lived it to the fullest.

As a Madison High School senior, he and a group of students worked to give Portland’s first African American firefighter a proper burial.

“People looked up to him. It’s something that needs to be remembered,” Hayson told FOX 12 last year, saying that he wanted to ensure history was preserved and honored.

Unfortunately, the sophomore at Warner Pacific passed away unexpectedly this week, with the college saying Hayson collapsed during practice.

The college announced he was enrolled in the pre-chiropractic program and was a member of the Knights Track and Field team, competing in shot put, javelin and hammer.

“He was somebody that was passionate about his goals,” admissions counselor Nick Poindexter said.

Poindexter said he worked with Hayson when he transitioned from high school to college and said he was ambitious, loved other people and was genuine.

Hayson's friends echoed the statement. Samuel Guy met Hayson in junior high, and the two were close.

“I don’t know of another person who has made an impact as big as he has. He was my biggest role model,” Guy said. “I don’t think that blood could’ve made us any closer."

After they both graduated from Madison High School, Guy got married and chose Hayson as his best man. During their last conversation, Guy said the two decided their goals in their lives.

“It was: Spread love, speak the truth and spread the word.”

Friends have set up a memorial fund for Royce Hayson on GoFundMe to help his family due to their sudden loss.

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