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A man and a smile: Arizona family, friends remember Orlando victim Jason Josaphat

One of the mourners attending a vigil for Jason Josaphat signs his picture on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. (KTAR's Corbin Carson).

LISTEN: Family, friends gather in Mesa for Josaphat vigil

Hundreds gathered at Mesa’s Skyline Park on Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to remember Jason Josaphat, who was best described by those there as “funny,” “loved to make others laugh” and “what a great smile.”

He is also now described as one of the 49 killed in the Orlando shooting.

“He has a beautiful personality, Jason don’t treat people different,” said Myrleine Inelus, Josaphat’s aunt. “I want people to remember Jason for who he is; Jason the gymnastic boy.”

A gunman entered an Orlando gay nightclub in the early hours Sunday, where he went on a shooting rampage, killing 49 and wounding 53 others. Josaphat, from Mesa, was one of the victims in one of the deadliest shootings in United States history.  One by one, friend after friend and family member after family member stood to say a few words about the person they knew, loved and now miss. “Right before Jason passed, me and him were fighting, and I just want everyone to know that all the drama and the pettiness is not worth it,” said a friend through tears. “Because one day your friend will be gone, the person you’re fighting with and you will never be able to say sorry.”  

“I know he would want to be remembered as funny, as outgoing, as the man who would do a cartwheel then a back-tuck then do whatever,” said another high school friend.

“He was an amazing inspiration to me because he has been through a lot in his life.”

“For people who’ve known him since elementary school, growing up with him was a privilege,” said another friend. “He was the most funny, happy, celebrating; he was constantly dancing. [If] you were sad, you were unhappy, you were alone, you didn’t feel included, he made sure to point you out and to make you feel like you were a part of the happiness.”

“This world is beyond ridiculous,” yet another friend said. “It’s beyond hateful, it’s beyond evil…those are all things he didn’t have. “The world needs to be more like him,” she said.

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