Westwood native John Lamar Halsell died on April 25. He was 43 years old.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Halsell grew up in Westwood where he attended Berkley Elementary School and Westwood High School (class of 1993), his obituary says.
He graduated with honors from the University of Hartford with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He played baseball and was president of his fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE).
John married Miriam Johnson on June 23, 2007 and raised their two children, Chase (10) and Carter (8) in Bloomfield, N.J.
He had been working as a business development executive at Iron Mountain Data Management, his LinkedIn profile says.
More than $5,700 had been raised for his wife and kids on a campaign as of Wednesday morning.
"In memory of the most incredible and beloved man we've all been blessed to know," the campaign says.
"A man who made every person he came into contact with feel loved...welcomed...and special. He let his light shine bright in this world and helped so many of us."
John was remembered for his kindness, "bright light" and positive impact on nearly everyone around him.
"John L Halsell made a lasting impression on everyone he interacted with," Jay Levine said in a tribute on Facebook.
"You could be sure of a great big bear hug whenever you saw him! He was truly a special person and we will miss him and never forget him."
"I worked at one of his favorite pizzerias," Katarina Gotsko wrote on his obituary, "and it was such a pleasure every time he came in."
"Mr. John as my son called him was the favorite way to begin and end his day at school," Danielle Tolep added.
"My son always wanted to get to school early so he could talk with John. An amazing example of a true angel on earth. He would give my son hugs and talk with him each morning about the yearbook. John was so kind and always comforting to everyone.
"He was such a patient , kind and positive man who made sure everyone he spoke to feel special."
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to aa.m. at the Becker Funeral Home in Westwood. A funeral service will begin at 11 a.m., with internment to follow at Westwood Cemetery.
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