Hundreds mourn teenager who died following rescue attempt at Toronto's Woodbine beach
Hundreds of family and friends came to a Markham funeral home to say goodbye to Kyle Howard.
The 16-year-old died eight days ago after he was pulled from the waters of Lake Ontario. A mother and her son were spotted struggling in the currents off of Woodbine Beach. Howard, along with two others, jumped in the water in an attempt to rescue them. Everyone made it out alive, except for Howard.
Among the many who came to pay their respects was Briana Monelall. For years, she and Howard were part of the Taekwondo club. She never expected that the last time they practiced the martial art together would be their last.
WATCH: 16-year-old remembered for his bravery after rescue at Woodbine beach
“It’s really devastating,” said Monelall.
“But it really shows the type of person he was with the selfless act that he did, risking his life.”
Howard’s godfather Rupert Gayle, said the teenagers death has been extremely hard on Howard’s parents.
“It’s a sad thing burying your child,” he said.
Gayle said the fact his godson died while attempting to save others helped ease the family’s pain a bit.
“But you know no matter what, it’s still a sad time for them, you know, burying their son today.”
Nearly everyone who spoke to Global News said they would miss Howard’s bubbly demeanor. His cousins Abenaya and Asveya Lingham said his contagious laugh was what they would miss the most.
“That’s probably the one thing I’m going to miss, is his laughter,” said Abenya Lingham.
“But that’s the one thing I’m going to remember too.”
Abenya said as sad as his death has made her, it almost didn’t surprise her that Howard died this way.
“’Cause he’s the person who would trade his life for someone else. So that’s what’s important, is that we know that.”