John Percin loved baseball and had an unforgettable laugh.
In his aunt's eyes, he was, simply, "an amazing young man. He was probably the strongest and bravest young man I have ever met in my life," Donna Percin Pederson said in an interview with The Associated Press from her home in Portland, OR.
Percin was a multi-sport high school athlete who graduated in 2007 from West Linn High School, southeast of Portland. Geoff McEvers grew up playing baseball with Percin and remembered him as a fun-loving guy with an unforgettable laugh, The Oregonian newspaper reported.
McEvers said he learned about Percin's death through friends. "It's already tragic when you hear about those who died," McEvers told the newspaper, "but when you find out it's someone you know personally, it's tough."
John loved us and his beautiful English lab, Champ, more than anything in the world. John's honesty and loyalty guided him every step of the way, and that honesty and loyalty will continue to touch many forever. John's smile, kindness, and warm embrace were unmatched. We are so deeply proud and thankful to call him our brother and son.
All of those who knew John feel exactly the same way.
John is forever grateful for the love and support of the Prescott, AZ community, a tight-knit place where he bettered himself, a place he proudly called home. He was forever touched by the love of his friends at the Chapter Five Recovery Center, and he was equally touched by the love of his brothers in the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
John's passion for life was deep, and he approached every day with optimism and excitement. John was truly at peace when he was out enjoying the beauty of life. He shined in everything he did, but his true passions were hiking, basketball, and family. John is a hero who made his family and friends all so very proud. And he and his brothers will never be forgotten.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
322 Shipyard Boulevard