DAVIDSON, NC (WBTV) - A Celebration of Life was held for Patrick Braxton-Andrew, a 34-year-old Spanish teacher found dead after going hiking in Mexico.
The service was held at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church Saturday afternoon.
Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox estimated about 600 people attended the service to honor the life of Braxton-Andrew.
Knox said he met Patrick Braxton Andrew when he was in third grade. Knox’s children played sports with Braxton-Andrew.
One of Braxton-Andrew’s first soccer coaches, Richard Letchworth, said he was a special player and person.
“I knew Patrick since he was about 5 years old and I never saw him gloomy very much," said Letchworth.
At the service today, guests wore colors instead of all black to reflect Braxton-Andrew’s vibrant personality and make the occasion a celebration of his life.
“I think it was an expression of his family’s desire to celebrate his life and not be dominated by the unfortunate circumstances,” said Letchworth.
Braxton-Andrew was last seen on October 28 by personnel at a hotel he was staying at in Urique, a former mining village at the base of one of the many canyons that make up the Copper Canyon National Park in Mexico.
The Facebook page dedicated to the search for Braxton-Andrew confirmed that his body was recovered and was brought back to North Carolina.
According to a Facebook group that provides updates on Braxton-Andrew, the teacher was killed by a criminal organization.
But the memorial service held for Braxton-Andrew Saturday was full of joy for the person he was and the impact he made on his community.
“We’re all gonna miss Patrick very much," said Letchworth. "Patrick loved life and was an adventurous sort. He cared about all of his friends as you can obviously see from this.”