Thirteen-year-old Steven "Big Stevey" Mendoza passed away in front of Main Prairie High School Friday night.
He collapsed suddenly while walking with friends on the 300 block of C Street, according to the Dixon Police Department. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at Sutter Davis Hospital. Details about the cause of death are not yet known.
At Saturday's memorial, Stevey's favorite music was played as attendees lit candles and paid tribute to his memory. Red balloons (Stevey's favorite color) were handed out to those in attendance.
People brought t-shirts and teddy bears to lay at the spot where he fell down. Stevey's stepmother spoke briefly before the balloons were released. A youth pastor spoke as well, along with tearful stories told by many others.
The Dixon Teen Center, a frequent hangout for Stevey, had been open since 2 p.m. that day and many of his friends had been there for hours talking about what happened on Friday night.
Stevey was a boy who could light a room up with his smile, according to friends and family. Here are some memories that were shared on Facebook by those close to him:
- "RIP Steven :(( i didnt believe it til i saw those candles in front of maine prarie last nite imma miss youu :("
- "Cant sleep today was one of the saddest days in my life rip Steven Mendoza forever in our hearts:'("
- "Mijo no puedo creerlo ...sabes q siempre tuvimos carino por ti y siempre te recordaremos y viviras en nuestros corazones"
- "I love You lil stevey Ima miss you;'''("
- "One of the hardest thing to [believe] is that you won't be here anymore:'( but ... You will always be in our hearts because at some point of our lives you were here for us♥ Those laughs & funny talks we went through , Imma Miss It .. Your voice laugh&You</3"
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