PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Friends of a Peekskill man who died in Florida have launched a GoFundMe page to raise enough money to bring him home to be buried next to his parents.
Eric “Smitty” Smith, 28, was studying cell biology at Florida Atlantic University,. He had graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie after studying political science there.
According to Smith’s Facebook page, he had attended Hendrick Hudson High School and had gone on to study biology at Westchester Community College and biology education at Mercy College.
According to longtime family friend Nicole Deagan, Smith’s ultimate goal was to be a teacher.
Smith was a kind and generous person who would “literally give you the shirt off his back, even if it was his last shirt,” she said. “Anyone who knew Eric knew family and friends were most important to him."
Smith’s father died recently, according to the GoFundMe post.
His friends’ GoFundMe campaign so far has raised $2,020 of the $15,000 it would could cost to bring Smith’s body back home and for his funeral.
Smith was coming up in the world, having graduated from Vassar and gotten his own car, the post said, adding: “He was full of life.”
He had moved to Florida to live with a cousin and to further his studies.
The exact cause of his death is under investigation, Deagan said.
“Please help us bring Eric home where he can finally be at peace,” the GoFundMe post concluded.