Remembering our fallen warriors: Michael Kwabi


Photo by Emma Trinh

Students create a memorial drawing for the boy with an infectious smile.

Michael Kwabi, a 2014 Woodbridge alumnus, died Sunday morning in a car accident, causing his cherished friends and family to reflect back on his short life.

“He was a man that always had a smile on his face. He just had that tone in his voice where anything he would say would make you smile. Anytime anyone would hear his voice across the hall, they would just laugh,” senior Adham Nazarzai said.

Known to most of his peers simply by “Kwabi,” close friends of his said that he loved playing basketball and was an extremely positive person to be around.

“He was an amazing kid, really handsome and a very good art student. I’d always used to ask him ‘How’s the air up there?’ because he was so tall. I will miss him terribly,” art teacher Pat Bangs said.

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night at the corner of Orchard Hills and Wolf Trail, the site of the crash. Friends and family gathered to say prayers and reminisce about Kwabi’s kind personality and infectiously happy attitude.

“I remember one night…around midnight he rang my doorbell. My dogs started barking like crazy, and he woke up my whole family,” junior Jack Gale said. “But I wasn’t mad – Kwabi’s the type of person you couldn’t get mad at, because everything he did and said made you laugh. That’s why everyone loved Kwabi.”

“I appreciated his ability to be upfront and take ownership of his mistakes. That sort of characteristic is not seen commonly in young people,” counselor Cam Kem said. “He never had a negative spirit about him; he was always very pleasant and I loved working with his mom, as well. They have a beautiful family and to have a loss like that, I can’t even imagine.”

A black and white memorial portrait painted by senior Sabrina Karaba and art teacher Jillian Rogers is currently displayed in the media center. It is designed so that students and staff can sign in gold pen and commemorate Kwabi’s legacy.

“He was one of my first friends when I moved here from Florida. He was a great friend and an even better person. From the games of NBA 2k14 to playing basketball in real life,” senior Billy Kusholek said. “He shouldn’t have gone the way he did, and I’ll miss him forever.”

A viewing will be held on Sunday at Good Shepard Lutheran Church at 2 p.m., with a service following at 3 p.m.