Campus pastor says Crimson Tide swimmer was 'always helping othe - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Campus pastor says Crimson Tide swimmer was 'always helping others'

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John Servati. Source: UA Athletics John Servati. Source: UA Athletics
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

Thursday night, the University of Alabama community remembered John Servati in a prayer service at Calvalry Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa.

John Servati's campus pastor Jeff Norris met Servati two years ago. Back then, Norris said he saw something special. Norris says Servati was the type of person who puts others before himself.

"Always helping others, and serving others," Norris said.

Servati was member of the swimming and dive team at the University of Alabama who set many records in and out of the pool.

But during Monday's storms, in a heroic move, Servati held up a retaining wall from flash flooding waters to save his girlfriend's life. Afterwards, that wall came crashing down on him. He was rushed to DCH but died later that night.

"The strength that he showed physically to so what he did to save her life was unreal," Norris said.

Pastor Norris tells FOX6 News Servati had dreams of being a Navy SEAL because he loved his country.

"He had mental toughness for it. He had the physical toughness for it. His mind set on it. And being a swimmer gave him a huge advantage," Norris said.

Over the past six months, Norris said Servati grew spiritually and just wanted to continue to help others.

"He was going to do a summer missions project with us out in Lake Tahoe this Summer and he wrote a letter for a fundraiser for that project. In that letter, he said I just feel like what I want most in my life right now is to grow in my understanding of the scriptures, to grow in my relationship with God. And share the gospel with others," Norris added.

Sharon Bigham says she met Servati through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama. Servati shared the same interest in swimming and fishing as her 13-year-old son, TJ.

Bigham says the young man was also a great role model for TJ after his father died of a heart attack two years ago. She says TJ is having a hard time coping with Servati's death.

She says she is thankful Servati's parents raised him to be such a loving person.

Servati's funeral is Saturday in his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi.

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