HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – A community gathered to celebrate the life of Kendrick Castillo on Wednesday at Cherry Hills Community Church. The service was a little more than a week after he was killed while trying to save others at the shooting inside STEM School.

(credit: Castillo family)

“I have always believed one person can make a difference,” said his former principal at Notre Dame Catholic School. “Kendrick Castillo was certainly proof that one person can make a difference.”

His faith played an important role in his life and the service honored the commitment he made to God. Speakers highlighted the impact he had through faith including a fellow member of the Knights of Columbus. They presented his parents with an award to thank them for Castillo’s service to the organization.

(credit: CBS)

“Kendrick you will be missed but you will never be forgotten,” said Joseph Nguyen, another member of the group.

Over the past week, Castillo’s passion for robotics has come through from family and friends. One of them spoke about the time they had together working on robots. Many from his robotics club attended the service and brought robots to display in his memory. One was even on stage during the ceremony.

“You all know his name. He died for us,” one friend said on stage. “Now it’s time for all of us to live for him.”

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One of his English teachers spoke about the joy he saw in all the little moments of life. She said he should be remembered for being joyful and kind as well as brave and selfless.

“Kendrick has run the race, fought the good fight, and now he is receiving his reward,” she added.

Another classmate shared how Castillo also knew how to have fun in school. Helping him to worry less about equipment that was damaged in class. Castillo put it away and just grabbed a new set, he remembered.

“He was my partner in crime but also my best friend,” he said.

(credit: Castillo family)

A teacher from the Engineering department shared that Castillo was to receive multiple awards for his strength in the subject. He added that everyone needed to be more like Castillo.

“I couldn’t tell if he was made for our school or if our school was made for him,” the teacher added.

One of the last speakers was Castillo’s father, John Castillo. He acknowledged the range of guests before him, who came from an early Catholic education as well as the technology focused school his son later attended. It was a transition he said his son made easily.

“There’s so much love in the room,” said John Castillo. “We had so much love from Kendrick.”

John Castillo (credit: CBS)

Castillo remained strong more than a week after losing his only child, he has talked about his son many times in the past several days. Each opportunity he tries to share more about what made his son so special.

Castillo shared that his son would always take his hat off and pray before his food when visiting Taco Bell.

He said at the service that his son was quick to figure things out and loved anybody that he met. He echoed the call to be more like his son but said specifically people need to be mentors.

“When someone is going through the darkness, you can help them out,” Castillo added. “He would want me to have the strength to help everyone heal.”

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Castillo once again thanked everyone in the room and the community for their love and support. He says it has given his wife and him the ability to keep going after their son’s death.

“Our world needs help,” he said. “Thank you for loving our son.”

The Castillo’s set up an account with Wells Fargo Bank. The public can go to any branch location and ask to donate to the Kendrick Castillo Memorial Fund. Cash, checks or transfers are accepted.

Shawn Chitnis

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