Friends, family remember 12-year-old drowning victim - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Friends, family remember 12-year-old drowning victim

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ODESSA, MO (KCTV) -

Close to 200 people gathered in Odessa Friday night to remember a 12-year-old boy whose life was cut short. Devin Fossett died when he fell through the ice on a pond.

But Friday night the focus was on his life. Devin loved the outdoors and mourners wore camouflage, instead of dressing in black.

Friends signed messages on balloons that they released into the sky. It's the closest they can get now to telling Devin how much they miss him.

"He's watching, he'll see it and he'll know that he has friends everywhere," said the Fossett family's neighbor and event organizer, April McAllister.

Devin was an adventurer, always running off into the woods, dressed in his camouflage, to explore. But on Monday he didn't come back from one of his trips. He'd apparently walked out onto the ice on Odessa's Holiday Lake and he fell through.

"Devin will be missed. I'm so sorry for the family," said Adele Waye, Devin's former school bus driver.

Devin's parents, younger brother and older sister huddled together, listening to their family and friends bring Devin to life with their stories.

"I remember in fifth grade, he was my first Valentine," said Devin's friend Gracie Ludeke. "I still remember what he got me. He got me a little stuffed animal and Laffy Taffy."

Parents are now having to explain a tragedy they don't understand to Devin's young friends.

"It was the hardest thing I could have done to see her so upset and not be able to fix it," said Gracie's mother Nikki Dyer.

But they'll honor him however they can. His school bus driver, Sue Manning, posted his picture on his seat.

Manning said Devin was one of the best behaved kids on the bus: "He got on laughing, smiling and he got off smiling. He was just always happy."

While Devin's uncle says he'll always remember him for his strength: "The boy had courage, was brave. I've seen him do things that most men won't do. I'll never forget him."

Supporters are selling bracelets to raise money for funeral expenses. If you would like to help, you can contact the Odessa Schools to donate, or go to gofundme.com and search the name Devin Fossett.

Family and friends also wanted to take the vigil as a chance to remind every kid out there to always assume it's unsafe to go out on the ice.

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