Tragedy struck Central Valley High School on Tuesday when 18 year old Jansen Badinger died in the Spokane River. Jansen graduated just last month when he was voted "Most Likely To Bleed Blue" in recognition of his school spirit. On Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate his life.
"They loved him dearly," Charlie Bates said. "He had the world at his fingertips. I don't think he's ever said a bad word about anybody."
"He changed peoples lives and people didn't even know it. They didn't even realize their lives were being changed." Bates daughter Alaina dated Jansen for the past three months and was swimming with him when he went under. Alaina said that Jansen suffered an asthma attack.
"I did everything I could. I tried to get him on my back, I tried to get him to hold my leg and he just physically could not do anything," Alaina Bates said. "But when he couldn't do anything his face was calm and he wasn't scared. That's the type of guy he was, always smiling, and full of hope."
Bates said she will remember him for his smile and his eyes. She said with a simple greeting Jansen changed the days of so many.
Her dad agrees.
"He was always wanting to be a part of everybody's day and if he knew somebody was having a bad day he was always there to brighten it up," Charlie Bates said. "He just wanted to make a difference."
A memorial service is planned for Saturday at Central Valley High School at 11:30 a.m. in the gymnasium. A fund has been set up to assist the family at STCU.