Justin Reale spent the last Saturday of his life with family, mentioning how excited he was for the end of the school year and all the fun events that went along with it, his parents in Orange County told the Warwick Valley Central School District.
But just hours later on Sunday, June 19, the sixth-grader died unexpectedly in his sleep at just 12 years old, according to his obituary.
“When his mother went to wake him up the next morning, he had passed,” the school district said in a statement.
An official cause of death has not been released.
Born in Suffern, Reale attended Warwick Valley Middle School and played trumpet in the school band, his memorial said.
He was also involved in martial arts, having earned his high red belt, and was attending leadership classes at United Martial Arts Centers (UMAC) to become an instructor, his obituary said.
“Justin was a beautiful, kind soul," reads his memorial. "He was always happy; always smiling. He will be missed by all who loved and knew him.”
The school district said grief counselors were on hand Tuesday, June 21, to provide support for students and staff.
"Justin’s teachers share that he was always kind to his classmates and always happy to be in school," Warwick Schools Superintendent David Leach said. "His teacher, Mrs. DiGiantommaso shared, 'He was the sweetest little boy.'
"We are very saddened by this loss to our school community and will make every effort to help you and your child as needed."
A visitation is scheduled for Friday, June 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home in Warwick.
Funeral services are planned for Saturday, June 25, at 12 p.m., according to his obituary.
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