HOUSTON – Thursday's celebration ended with song and a release of balloons -- symbolic of the spirit left behind by 28-year-old Devon Wade -- a young man who touched the lives of everyone who gathered at North Forest High School.
Wade's family -- including his grandmother Billie Lyons -- also was in attendance.
"I know he's well-loved," Lyons said. "And he loved them back."
Before the balloon release, a crowd of about 200 people turned out to honor Wade and remember his remarkable life inside the school's auditorium.
After a tough upbringing, which saw both of his parents incarcerated, Wade rose to become a stellar student at the now-closed Smiley High School.
Before his death, he was close to completing his doctorate at Columbia University.
"He accomplished what everybody said he couldn't, what everybody said he shouldn't," friend La'Voshea Hendry said. "So to lose his life so tragically and because he was the best. He was absolutely phenomenal."
Wade's life was cut tragically short after he was shot and killed Sunday by his boyfriend in Atascocita.
A promising life was taken far too soon.
Friends and family insist his life remains an inspiration.
"Devon will always be remembered for not only what he did but so much as who he was," Hendry said. "He accomplished the unthinkable."
Wade's family will announce funeral arrangements soon.